CAPS UNITED . . . . . . (0) 3
BANTU ROVERS . . . . . . . 0
RONALD “Rooney” Chitiyo and second-half substitute Amon Kambanje lit up the dim lights of the National Sports Stadium last night with two splendid goals — easily contenders for the goal of the season — as champions Caps United warmed up for their African Champions League clash against Al Ahly Tripoli next week with a comfortable victory over a battling Bantu Rovers in a Castle Lager Premiership football tie.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
After a sluggish first-half performance in which the home team struggled to break down Bantu Rovers’ defence, with Dominic Chungwa guilty of missing several opportunities, they came back into the second half a rejuvenated side.
And it was Chitiyo who broke 46 minutes of resistance by Bantu Rovers, picking the ball from 25 yards, before unleashing a thunderous shot that troubled goalkeeper Shadreck Nyasha, who had the nightmare of retrieving the ball three times from the nets.
The goal was met with a chorus of approval from the Green Machine fans.
Chungwa then made amends on 52 minutes, collecting a pass near the penalty area before hitting the roof of the net to double the lead.
While the goals appeared to deflate Bantu Rovers with their skipper Bukhosi Sibanda seemingly fighting a lone battle, Caps United grew in confidence.
Lloyd Chitembwe then pulled off Abbas Amidu and introduced Kambanje on 54 minutes. Caps United began to bombard their opponents’ goal with an assortment of shots and Chitiyo came close on 64 minutes, but his shot from an acute angle was parried away by the goalkeeper.
And on 69 minutes, Kambanje profited from a horrendous mistake by a Bantu Rovers defender who set him up as he attempted to pass to his team mate. The Caps United striker accepted the neatly wrapped gift, lobbing the ball over a drawn-out goalkeeper from quite a distance to sew up the tie.
The best chance that the vistors got was when Sibanda made some space for himself in the Caps United box with two minutes remaining, but was denied his eighth goal of the season by a superb block by Caps United third-choice goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba.
It was a deserved victory and assistant coach Fungai Tostao Kwashi was pleased with the result.
“Good performance, three, goals, three points, we are happy. Brilliant goal for Rooney, then a contender of the goal of the season from Kambanje. I know it’s too early to talk about that, but it was a fantastic goal from about 40 yards and to know that the keeper is not in his position,” Kwashi said.