BANTU ROVERS . . . . .0
CAPS UNITED . . . . . . .0
CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro has challenged club owner Twine Phiri and his board to resolve the problems besetting the club after his charges arrived in Bulawayo yesterday morning ahead of their Premier Soccer League goalless draw against Bantu Rovers at Hartsfield.
After travelling overnight from Harare due to a financial dispute with club management, arriving in Bulawayo early in the morning and playing with 10 men, this was certainly a hard-fought point for Caps United.
Defender Stephen Makatuka was shown a straight red card by referee Mlindeli Ndebele after he lunged onto Bantu Rovers’ striker Lenience Mpofu in the 37th minute after missing the ball in his own half.
Mpofu had to be treated outside the field of play for seven minutes before he returned to the game.
“I thought the guys gave it a fight despite the challenges we are facing that led to the late travel arrangements. The handicap was playing with a man down. I would not want to be travelling with players that are not motivated and as long as the problems facing the club are not addressed we will always have challenges. I would like to urge the leadership to play their part. I have talked to the boys and told them that it’s not just at Caps United, but it’s the economy of the country,” Mangwiro said, who took heart from the hundreds of the team’s fans who came to watch the match.
After the draw, Caps United are now on 38 points and still on position four and Mangwiro said it was good that they were still on track for the championship. Bantu Rovers are now on 17 points in 22 matches still sitting on position 15.
“We are not worried about what is happening on the blue side [Dynamos] of the capital as long as we go stronger on the home stretch,” Mangwiro said.
Bantu Rovers coach Methembe Ndlovu is also still optimistic of surviving the chop although he said his boys did not play well yesterday.
“We did not play well although we had it in bits and pieces. There is a lot of tension, but we just need to relax. There is nothing we can do. We have to focus. There are still 24 points to fight for. It’s not the end all-be all. We will play each game as it comes,” Ndlovu said.
Caps United started powerfully in the first half with defender Ronald Pfumbidzai beating the offside trap in the 26th minute and dribbling past an advancing Tshintsha Guluva goalkeeper Takunda Mutanga and sending in a beautiful cross, but Moses Muchenje’s header missed the target.
Bantu Rovers Obadiah Tarumbwa had his effort from a free-kick saved by goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube in the 28th minute after midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu had been brought down while veteran Herbert Dick watched in disbelief in the 73rd minute as his curler hit the upright post with Dube a beaten man.