AFTER stuttering to a 1-1 draw at home against Tsholotsho on Sunday, defending Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions Caps United seek redemption as they make the trip to pacesetters Ngezi Platinum tomorrow, with coach Lloyd Chitembwe emphasising the need to collect maximum points in their bid to defend the title.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Despite being the more dominant side, a wasteful Caps United found themselves trailing 1-0 on 37 minutes after Nkosana Siwela thrust Tsholotsho ahead, capitalising on a mistake by goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo, who fumbled a cross from skipper Nkosilathi Moyo.
Although Ronald Pfumbidzai restored parity with a beautiful goal just after the hour mark, from a wonderful delivery by towering centre-back Dennis Dauda, the Green Machine find themselves with one win and two draws in their three matches so far of the campaign.
Ngezi Platinum sit at the top of the log with nine points from four matches after suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to Yadah Gunners at the weekend.
Chitembwe, however, remains optimistic ahead of the trip to Ngezi. “We knew we were going to drop some points at some stage and the Ngezi game is one we are looking to go out and fight. We will try to get the result that we want, though it is not going to be easy,” he said yesterday.
The Harare giants have scored three goals in as many matches and their conversion rate has come into question.
But Chitembwe believes it’s still too early to begin to doubt his team.
“You can’t judge us with just one or two games. We can only be judged after quite a substantial number of games. I believe we are on track and will achieve what we set ourselves to attain,” Chitembwe said.
With bitter rivals Dynamos overcoming Hwange courtesy of Emmanuel Mandiranga to register their first win in three matches, Caps United will be looking to realign their campaign.
Dynamos host How Mine at the National Sports Stadium hoping to maintain their form which saw them lifting the Independence Cup after defeating Highlanders on penalties before the 1-0 victory over Hwange on Sunday.
Lloyd Mutasa’s rebuilding process appears to be bearing fruits with each passing game and their title credentials will further be put to the test on Thursday.
And if they can collect maximum points, it will bolster them as they seek to end a barren spell without the championship.
Dynamos last won the championship under Kalisto Pasuwa in 2014 and Mutasa is hard-pressed to deliver the stubbornly elusive silverware.
Norman Mapeza’s FC Platinum have a home match against struggling Triangle. The platinum miners, who have dropped two points so far, will be looking to capitalise on Triangle’s troubles.
Taurai Mangwiro’s side are yet to collect maximum points, having managed two draws and they too will be desperate to get their first set of full marks.
Premiership action returns on television screens this weekend with the live broadcast of four matches on SuperSport.
The first live broadcast will be the Caps United vs Chapungu match that will be played at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday at the 3pm.
Yadah’s clash with Dynamos on Sunday at 3pm will be live on SuperSport 9, while on Monday there will be two matches with Harare City clashing against ZPC Kariba before the Black Rhinos vs FC Platinum clash.
The Harare City-ZPC Kariba match kicks off at 1pm with the Black Rhinos vs FC Platinum match starting
two hours later.
Tomorrow: Harare City v Bulawayo City (NSS), Ngezi Platinum v Caps United (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie (Nyamhunga), Tsholotsho v Highlanders (Dulivhadzimu), FC Platinum v Triangle (Maglas), Chapungu v Yadah (Ascot), Bantu Rovers v Hwange (Luveve).
Thursday: Dynamos v How Mine (NSS), Chicken Inn v Black Rhinos (Luveve)