Caps held as pressure piles on winless Hwange

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PRESSURE is cranking up on Hwange coach Nation Dube as he remained stuck in the relegation zone after the team recorded its sixth league draw in eight games in the new term following a goalless stalemate with Caps United yesterday.

BY HENRY MHARA

CAPS UNITED . . . . . . 0
HWANGE . . . . . . . . . . 0

Together with basement side Dongo Sawmills, Hwange are the only other team yet to record a win this season, but in his post-match comments after the latest draw at Gwanzura yesterday, Dube looked unruffled by the string of poor results, assuring the team’s supporters that better days were just around the corner.

“My boys played very well, but I think for this game, it was the referee who denied us a result. If it wasn’t for the referee, we could have collected maximum points,” Dube said.

“We are calm, not yet disappointed. Look at ZPC Kariba how they played last year, how many draws did they have? But when they started winning later on in the season, they ended up somewhere at the top. So we are calm.

“Like now, things are not OK as people might want to say, but the good thing is that we are collecting points. Our slow start could be an effect of our poor preseason preparation. We never had any serious team to play. Teams were refusing to play us, so we ended playing these teams from Division One.”

Caps United, on the other end, passed on the chance to move back into the top four with a win here. They remain on eighth position with 12 points.

Coach Mark Harrison looked disappointed, revealing that the financially-stressed club was yet to pay the players and technical team’s salaries for April.

He said the delay, and fake promises from the management were beginning to take a toll on the players.

“I’m really angry,” Harrison kicked off his post-match interview.

“We wasted a lot of chances. We got to start taking chances. We lacked the energy we had down in Bulawayo last week. Maybe that game took a little bit more energy out of us, but I’m not trying to make excuses. I think we lacked energy and endeavour and a little bit of creativity at times as well.

“The ongoing situation at the club is also affecting us. Everybody is still waiting for his salary for April and it’s not making life any easier, but I don’t want to make excuses. We lacked energy today.”

Harrison was forced to make two chances at the wingbacks with right-back and captain Hardlife Zvirekwi suspended, while left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai is on trials in Europe.

Youngsters Romerio Matova and Valentine Musarurwa held fort and did not disappoint.

The game was played at a frenetic pace from the start, but it was Caps United who dominated the first half and created better chances.

Striker Rodreck Mutuma and Gerald Phiri struck the woodwork in that period, while Moses Muchenje made a mess of a very good chance.

Takudzwa Mahori, very wasteful at times, also fashioned a good chance for himself when he drifted inside from the right before releasing a firm shot which was well saved by Hwange goalkeeper Timothy Sibanda.

The second half belonged to Hwange as they dominated possession, but never troubled Caps United keeper Criss Mverechena.

In fact, it was Caps United who threatened especially from set-plays and almost took a lead when Mutuma’s shot took an awkward bounce on 85 minutes but Sibanda somehow managed to adjust his body to tip the ball over the bar.

Teams

Caps United: C Mverechena, V Musarurwa, G Nyirenda, S Makatuka, R Matova (C Munzabwa, 65’), D Mukandi, M Muchenje, T Mahori (T Nyamupfukudza, 68’), R Mutuma, G Phiri, L Fiyado (C Machisi, 58’).
Hwange: T Sibanda, P Dube, G Ndlovu, D Boriwondo, A Chuma, I Mucheneka, N Siwela (G Zulu, 57’), P Mpelele (N Sianchali, 92’), M Mungadze, A Marime (F Vimisai, 74’), E Rusike.