LEONARD Fiyado’s brace gave Caps United their first set of three points in three matches at the expense of log leaders Chicken Inn at the National Sports Stadium yesterday, in a day match officials again hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons.
CAPS UNITED . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
CHICKEN INN . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Fiyado put the home side in front in the 12th minute before completing his brace on 79 minutes, in controversial manner, though.
The striker looked well offside when he doubled Caps United’s advantage, with first assistant referee Collen Muringai probably the only person in the stadium who failed to notice that.
The goal came a minute after matchday referee Jimmy Makwanda had waved on Chicken Inn’s pleas for a penalty after substitute Ismael Lawe appeared to be fouled inside the Caps United box.
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas, who could be seen arguing with the fourth official after the second half, said in his post-match comments that his side was given a raw deal.
“I would like to congratulate referees for aiding Caps United,” he started off sarcastically. “In one minute he killed the game. From disallowing us a goal, the next minute he gave Caps a goal from an offside position, a goal that even a pilot in a jet plane could have seen that it was an offside. I don’t want to talk much about the officials, but that is why they get suspended because of inept officiating,” added Antipas.
Caps United coach Mark Mathe, who recorded his first victory yesterday since taking over two weeks ago, acknowledged that the referee erred for the second goal, but said the victory was deserved.
“Football has some of its own injustices, but I am happy that we got the win. From a layman perspective, Chicken Inn were the better team of the day, but what counts at the end of the day are scores and we did just that,” Mathe said.
Chicken Inn defender Brian Mbiriri had a nightmarish first half on the left-back position and was at fault for the opener when he was easily beaten by Leonard Tsipa.
The first chance of the game fell to Chicken Inn when Canaan Nkomo broke loose on the left wing, but his shot did not have enough power to trouble Jorum Muchambo.
Despite that early scare it was Caps United who began to control proceedings with the ageless Tsipa playing a central role, troubling Mbiriri.
The home side’s dominance soon turned into a goal when Tsipa easily made his way past the jittery Mbiriri before laying the ball for Fiyado for an easy tap-in.
Caps were in total control and with a bit of luck should have added at least another goal inside the first 20 minutes.
But the tide then changed soon after with the visitors bombarding the opposition box and forcing four corners in a space of seven minutes. One of the corners almost resulted in a goal, but Mitchelle Katsvairo’s effort was cleared off the line with Muchambo at sea, but the goalkeeper recovered well to gather the follow-up shot.
It was Chicken Inn who finished the first half strongly and could have got the equaliser on 40 minutes when Katsvairo created some space inside the box, but his shot was saved.
That pattern of play followed in the second half with the log leaders dominating. Katsvairo’s bicycle kick went wide in the 53rd minute before Passmore Bernard brought the best out of Muchambo from a free kick two minutes later. However, despite controlling the game, they couldn’t create any meaningful chance and were eventually punished for their impotence, in controversial circumstance though.
Against the run of play, Fiyado poked home his side’s cushion goal although he looked well offside. Tsipa again made the assist after some good work by Takudzwa Mahori on the right channel.
Caps United: J Muchambo, H Zvirekwi, R Matova, C Munzambwa, S Makatuka, D Mukandi, M Muchenje (C Machisi 45’), G Mangani, J Ngodzo (T Mahori, 62’), L Fiyado (G Nyirenda, 84), L Tsipa.
Chicken Inn: E Chipezeze, B Mbiriri, G Goddard, P Benard, C Nkomo (T Banda, 71’), C Matawu, M Jackson, T Katinyu, T Goredema, D Temwanjira (I Lawe, 60ñ), M Katsvairo (M Dube 82’).