SHABANIE MINE . . . (0)
CAPS UNITED . . . . (0)
Caps United’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title defence got off to a false start after they were held by Shabanie Mine, who celebrated their return to the top-flight with an impressive performance deserving of a victory.
BY MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE
There was a party atmosphere at Maglas Stadium, as the home team marked their return after a season in the wilderness.
With the capacity crowd behind them, the hosts responded with a good performance, restricting their more fancied opponents to play second-fiddle for the better part of the match.
Had Shabanie Mine been more clinical in front of goals, they could have easily collected all the three points from this encounter.
Although they lacked the killer instincts in front of goal, there were a lot of positives that coach Wilson Mutekede would take from his charges’ performance going forward, as the team look to avoid an immediate return to Division One football.
“It is good when you play at home and your supporters are with you. It was a good game and with a bit of lucky we could have won the match,” he said. “We missed a few good chances. We have the capacity to play against the best teams in the league and I am happy the guys showed that today.”
Caps United need to greatly improve if they are to successfully defend their title. Their coach, Lloyd Chitembwe, however, quickly leapt to his players’ defence.
“The result in the first match of the season is not very important. It does not mean those who win the first game of the season can win the championship or those who will lose will be relegated. The season ends in November,” he said.
“It was a good game of football the application from both teams was positive and that is what the fans come to see.”
Shabanie was expected to be cannon fodder for the champions, but Mutekede, a former Caps United team manager, had clearly prepared the hosts well because they started solidly and soon began causing Caps United problems.
Former Dynamos striker Farai Mupasiri got to the end of two free headers for Shabanie, but wasted the chances on both occasions.
The home side also felt aggrieved when referee Brighton Chimwemwe failed to punish Devon Chafa for a reckless lunge on the impressive Mupasiri.
In the second half, Shabanie Mine continued from where they had left, putting Caps under a lot of pressure.
Tinashe Mupumha fired a powerful shot after 65 minutes which crashed against the woodwork, with Caps United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda a beaten man.
Moments later, Tafadzwa Chimoyo got another good chance to give the Chinda Boys the lead when he was afforded too much space in the box, but his effort went agonisingly wide.
United enlivened with the introduction of Joel Ngodzo, who replaced Chafa.
Ronald Chitiyo had a shot on target, which was tipped over late in the match, being the only realistic chance of breaking the deadlock which came the visitors’ way.
Shabanie Mine: S Mafukidze, A Dzumbunu, W Mapfumo, T Mupumha, F Mupasiri (J Nyabinde 80), T Mavhunga, C Dhuwa, W Taderera (D Chivandire 58), T Chimoyo (B Mtigo 76), N Mpofu, L Manyande
Caps United: E Sibanda, H Zvirekwi (R Pfumbidzayi 75), V Musarurwa, J Jangano, D Dauda (J Ngodzo 70), D Chafa, M Muchenje, R Chitiyo, P Bamusi, T Rusike (D Chungwa 53), L Tsipa