CAPS United . . . . . . (2) 3
Ngezi Platinum . . . . . .0
A TINY portal to another fruitful season opened as Dominic Chungwa powered champions Caps United to victory over battling title challengers Ngezi Platinum with a memorable brace in a thrilling Castle Lager Premiership tie at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Often described as a wasteful striker, with a poor conversion rate, Chungwa has suddenly developed those instincts characterising most top forwards — of getting into the right position at the right time.
He now has got both the legs and the head, having been known for scoring using his right foot. He has been playing like demon.
Having been on target in the 2-1 victory over FC Platinum last week, Chungwa scored two yesterday, with John Zhuwawo, a product of their junior policy, weighing in with the other goal to seal their biggest victory of the campaign.
After a sluggish start to the campaign in which their defensive frailties were exposed, with lowly teams like Yadah FC also feasting on them after emerging 2-0 winners, it looked like the champions would plunge into an irretrievable nose dive.
The Green Machine were so poor, their defence leaked like a sieve which earned them the moniker “Four Brothers”, as they conceded four goals in most of their games in their African Champions League adventure.
But they are now playing with freedom and appear to be enjoying the game once again and after managing a clean sheet against one of the high scoring teams in the league yesterday, there is reason for Caps United supporters to believe.
Backed by a vociferous crowd that included club president Farai Jere, the Harare giants showed the determination of a bee and the spirit of an ant as they raided their opponents’ goal time and again.
Ngezi Platinum had started off brightly, with Terrence Dzukamanja and Walter Mukanga coming close on the quarter hour.
But the outstanding Justice Jangano, playing in place of Stephen Makatuka who fell sick in the build-up to the match, was uncompromising and with a little bit of luck could have registered his name on the score sheet on 24 minutes, but missed a headed opportunity.
However, six minutes later, Caps United were 1-0 up, Chungwa getting to the end of a cut-in from the left by Phineas Bhamusi to nod home.
Two minutes later, Zhuwawo popped up with the second — a blistering low shot that gave goalkeeper Pedzisai Chadya no chance at all.
As the home team bombarded the Ngezi goal area with an assortment of shots, Hardlife Zvirekwi came close with a speculative shot on 33 minutes.
Ngezi coach Tonderai Ndiraya brought in Donald Teguru for Edgar Tapera on 40 minutes, hoping to claw back into the game.
But it was Caps United, instead, who scored, with Chungwa completing his brace on 60 minutes, leaping highest to plant a firm header into the nets with the Ngezi back line guilty of ball watching.
But Caps United finished the match without big goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, who was stretchered off after picking an injury on 52 minutes and was replaced by Jorum Muchambo.
Caps United assistant coach Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi was pleased with the victory.
“It’s a big victory for us, a fantastic performance from the whole team. We want to give credit to the whole team,” he said.
“Everyone is working hard, everyone is giving everything from the management to the team. We will keep working hard, and we will go up the ladder step by step.”
His counterpart, Tonderai Ndiraya, admitted Caps United were the better side.
“Credit to Caps United. They were more determined than us, if you look at the way they were fighting for the ball. They came in wanting it more than we did,” he said.
“So, this is it. We lost three points away from home. It’s probably expected and we have to fight another day. We have Highlanders in our next match and will try to get a positive result.”
Caps United: E Sibanda, (J Muchambo, 52’), V Musarurwa, C Munzabwa, J Jangano, D Chafa, K Nyamupfukudza,P Bhamusi (C Kamhapa, 67’), R Pfumbidzai, J Zhuwawo (A Chidiebere, 88’), D Chungwa
Ngezi Platinum: P Chadya, W Mukanga, T Dzukamanja, P Jaure, L Chakoroma, A Clive, G Murwira, K Murera, T Mabvura,E Tapera, (D Teguru, 40’), Q Amini (K Bulaji, 61’)