HomeSportCaps seek to atone

Caps seek to atone

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TROUBLED Harare footuball giants Caps United have been presented with a perfect opportunity to close in on log leaders Dynamos, who host bogey side Shabanie Mine in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at Rufaro on Sunday.

TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

Caps United are making the trip to Kadoma on Saturday for a date against relegation-threatened army side Black Rhinos and will be hoping that their rivals stumble as they have so often done against the Zvishavane-based outfit.

Dynamos have a history of struggling against Shabanie Mine whom they have not beaten in two years, including cup competitions. In both their league encounters last term, the two sides shared the spoils following identical 1-1 draws.

Shabanie, then under the guidance of Luke Masomere, booted Dynamos out of the BancABC Sup8r Cup after a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory after they had finished the match tied 1-1 in regulation time.

Shabanie Mine went on to lift the trophy after overcoming neighbours FC Platinum in the final.

In May this season, the Harare giants came from Maglas Stadium with their shoulders slumped after they were held to a 0-0 draw.

And Caps United will be praying fervently that their bitter rivals stumble again which would give them another opportunity to close in on them having failed to take advantage last weekend.

Taurai Mangwiro’s men blew the chance to reduce the gap between them and their rivals when they missed a glut of chances to settle for a 0-0 draw against visiting How Mine after Dynamos had been held to a goalless draw by FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium 24 hours earlier.

That result left them stuck in fourth place with 39 points — four points off the pace. That sparked loud calls from a militant section of the team’s supporters who called for Mangwiro’s dismissal.

Mangwiro blasted his charges for wasting those opportunities.

“It’s very disappointing. We had clear opportunities and I thought we could have killed off the game in the first half. We were doing some things hurriedly. It was a sign of frustration when you see us bringing on Tongai Mangwendere. I have tried all playing personnel. Everyone has had his chance, but we are not being precise,” he said.

Mangwiro, however, believes with seven games left in the campaign, they can bounce back to mount a serious challenge on the championship.

But so much had happened in the house that Twine Phiri built in the last month, from player strikes and a fans riot to four points dropped against Bantu Rovers and How Mine.

If they cannot win against Black Rhinos tomorrow, then it will be a sad end to a season that promised so much.

Phiri has fought a lone battle to keep the club afloat, but the economy is not kind to anyone.

Even his erstwhile director Farai Jere, has been quiet while Lewis Uriri has quit the board of directors.

However, Black Rhinos — lying fourth from the bottom with just 27 points — one ahead of Shabanie Mine — know a victory over Makepekepe will lift them from the mud.

Black Rhinos coach Jostein Mathuthu said chances for both teams were even.

“The chances for both of us are 50-50. We are both hard-pressed for points. I hope it will be us who will get the points. But we are meeting a very experienced side and it will not be easy.

“We are going there to fight a big side,” said Mathuthu, adding that their chances of survival were very high.

“We are definitely going to survive and are going into the match on Saturday (tomorrow) wanting to survive,” he said.

Meanwhile, second-placed ZPC Kariba travel to Hartsfield hoping to steal at least a point against Bulawayo giants Highlanders as they did in the first meeting which ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

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