BUFFALOES . . . . . . . . 0
CAPS UNITED . . . . . . 0
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
THEY arrived 30 minutes late, some players in the team bus, some in a pick-up truck and then missed a penalty during the match.
That is the sad story, or rather, the now all too familiar tale of financially-stricken Caps United as they picked up a point on the road in their Castle Premier Soccer League match against Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare yesterday.
The first batch of players arrived at the stadium almost an hour before the match in the team bus and five other players arrived almost 20 minutes after kick-off as financial troubles continued to bite Caps United despite a good midweek crowd at Gwanzura Stadium on Thursday.
The match was delayed by almost half an hour as Caps United were waiting for five players who arrived in a pick-up truck. The players are Hardlife Zvirekwi, George Nyirenda, Dominic Mukandi, Steven Makatuka and Gerald Phiri. Sources told NewsDay Sport that the five players had refused to travel with the team over their unpaid allowances.
In a interview after the match, Caps United head coach Mark Harrison said he was worried by the financial challenges the club was facing. “Given the circumstances, we did very well. I haven’t seen the team since our mid-week game.
The financial problems the club is facing are killing us. They are distracting everything. All due to the fact that we haven’t been paid,” Harrison said.
“We are owed a lot of money . . . Theoretically, the club has violated my contract, the club has violated all the players’ contracts and theoretically, we are now on the market. We can’t just carry on doing this. It is just difficult at the moment and we are fighting fires everyday.”
The match started on a blistering pace and Buffaloes were awarded a penalty in the 13th minute after Carlton Munzambwa handled inside the box and Rusape-based referee Brighton Chimene pointed to the spot. Young Warriors defender and the army side’s captain Liberty Chakoroma took responsibility, but he shot wide.
Caps United were awarded a penalty of their own in the 31st minute after Farai Banda handled inside the box, but Buffaloes goalkeeper Blessing Mwandimutsira did well by saving Rodreck Mutuma’s poorly taken spot-kick.