Caps United. . . . . . . . . (2) 2
FC Platinum. . . . . . . . . (1) 1
CHAMPIONS Caps United passed their Castle Lager Premiership football test against title-contenders, FC Platinum with distinction, overpowering them in an exhilarating encounter at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
A goal each by Dominic Chungwa and Stephen Makatuka in the first half ensured the Green Machine bagged maximum points, bringing their tally to seven points in the last three matches.
But star-defender, Ronald Pfumbidzai took the gloss out of the thrilling encounter after he appeared to refuse to take an instruction from coach, Lloyd Chitembwe at the death, resulting in the mentor substituting him for Cabby Kamhapa.
Pfumbidzai refused to shake hands with the coach, walking briskly before disappearing into the dressing room.
Caps assistant coach, Mark Mathe said the player’s conduct was unbecoming.
“We do not condone his behaviour. We treat his action with the contempt it deserves. We will sit down with the lad and talk to him. We are happy to get the three points. But firstly, I want to acknowledge the contest that was there. They (FC Platinum) were actually on top of the situation in the first half, but we are happy, we showed character to win the match. We have garnered three points and the belief is coming back now and our aim now is to claw up the ladder in our next match,” he said.
FC Platinum coach, Norman Mapeza said they were still very much in the race despite the defeat.
“Our defending on set pieces was not up to scratch. In our past games, we have been conceding on set pieces. The organisation and concentration was not there. But we are not out of it yet because Caps are still to come to Mandava and Dynamos are still to play Ngezi. We are still within reach,” he consoled himself.
The match started at a high tempo, with both teams showing a lot of verve. Caps United missed a great opportunity after five minutes, with John Zhuwawo unleashing a thunderous shot, which crashed against the cross bar.
But a minute later, FC Platinum were 1-0 up, after veteran forward, Charles Sibanda dispossessed Valentine Musarurwa before beating goalkeeper, Edmore Sibanda with a rising shot.
Still the home team didn’t lose hope and made some decent entries into the penalty box, with Phineas Bhamusi coming close on the 17th minute.
They were rewarded for their efforts after 22 minutes, with Dominic Chungwa popping up with a beautiful leveller, when he leapt highest to plant a firm header off a corner kick by Hardlife Zvirekwi.
After the goal, Caps United grew in confidence, as they carved out some good chances.
FC Platinum responded with some methodical build-ups laced with neat passes synonymous with their game.
But Caps soaked all the pressure and in the 37th minute, they took the lead and the goal came from an unlikely source. Defender Makatuka outjumped a cluster of defenders to nod home from a corner kick by Pfumbidzai.
The home team came back from the breather more determined and Nigerian international, Abasirim Chidiebere, who came on as a second-half substitute, replacing Chungwa in the 75th minute, missed a headed opportunity seven minutes from full time.
FC Platinum kept probing late on and were nearly rewarded, when substitute, Hamandishe Moyo breached the Caps United defence, but was denied by Sibanda with a classy stop.
Caps United: E Sibanda, V Musarurwa, H Zvirekwi, C Munzabwa, S Makatuka, D Chafa, K Nyamupfukudza, (M Muchenje, 46′), P Bhamusi, R Pfumbidzai (K Kamhapa, 90’), J Zhuwawo, D Chungwa (A Chidiebere, 75′).
FC Platinum: P Mhari, E Moyo (H Moyo, 75′), K Moyo, I Nekati, W Mhango, (T Chinyama, 63′), R Mudhiviwa, R Chinyengetere, N Masuku, A Sadiki, M Dube, C Sibanda.