CAPS UNITED . . . . . . . . . . (2)2
BULAWAYO CITY. . . . . . . . (0)1
CAPS United’s title push remained on course after overcoming a battling Bulawayo City in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Makepekepe started brightly launching wave after wave of attack with Ronald Pfumbidzai and Abbas Amidu, who both shone like beacons yesterday, taking turns to bombard their opponents’ goal with a number of shots.
The Green Machine deservedly went into the lead after five minutes with Simba Nhivi pouncing on a loose ball after Amidu’s effort was blocked, to direct the ball first time into the nets.
Amidu came back to haunt Bulawayo City after 18 minutes, but this time goalkeeper Ndodana Sibanda was equal to the task.
The visitors also had a good opportunity on 23 minutes, but Mkokeli Dube was guilty of missing a good opportunity.
Caps United continued to press forward, but Leonard Tsipa blazed the ball over the bar from five yards on 34 minutes, following a wonderful delivery from Pfumbidzai.
The Harare giants’ coach Lloyd Chitembwe brought in Cabby Kamhapa for Kudzanai Nyamupfukudza seven minutes before the break with Bulawayo City coach Philani Ncube bringing in Emmanuel Mandiranga for Mthulisi Maphosa at the same time as he searched for a leveller.
But the changes worked in favour of the home side with Tsipa powering a header on 43 minutes to thrust Caps into the comfort zone.
However, the visitors threw everything they had in the second half after Ncube pulled off Morris Kadzola throwing in Thomas Chimenya on 46 minutes.
Chitembwe also made two substitutions replacing Amidu with Dominic Chungwa, while Tafadzwa Rusike replaced Leonard Tsipa on 60 minutes. But Bulawayo City continued to pile pressure, and Xolisani Moyo had the ball in the back of the nets five minutes later, but the linesman flagged for offside sparking disapprovals from the visitors.
Their persistence eventually paid off with Mandiranga pulling one back with a powerful header off a cross by Innocent Kutsanzira.
After the goal, the visitors dominated play and threatened with some fine raids. But to their credit, Caps United remained resolute in defence.
Chitembwe was pleased with the result although the performance, in his view, could have been better.
“It was a team performance, the conversion rate was excellent, but in the second half it was not as exactly as we had wanted,” Chitembwe said. “But it happens in football when you dominate the first half; chances are that you will be dominated in the second half. We would have wanted to make it four clean sheets, we had not conceded in the previous three matches, but we couldn’t manage that,” he said.
His counterpart Ncube said: “We lost 2-1, but not to a better team. We conceded a second goal and from my point of view it was supposed to be a goal kick, but the referee said it was a goal. We scored a genuine goal, but the assistant referee said it was offside. We are not under pressure and next Sunday by this time we will be on 17 point.” Ncube’s side takes on Dynamos in their next match.
Caps United; J Muchambo, H Zvirekwi, R Pfumbidzai, C Munzabwa, S Makatuka, K Nyamupfukudza (Kamhapa), J Ngodzo, A Amidu (D Chungwa) , P Bamusi, S Nhivi, L Tsipa (T Rusike).
Bulawayo City; N Sibanda, M Kadzola (T Chimenya), N Mukumbi, T Majo, Z Sibanda, I Kutsanzira, X moyo, L Ncube, M Maphosa (E Mandiranga), M Ncube, M Dube