For the better part of his Caps United career, Dominic Chungwa has been the subject of derision from the team’s faithful each of the few times he got a run.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Most of the times, particularly during the first half of this season and the majority of the last term, he has always cut a despairing figure, sitting almost dejectedly on the bench.
But the injury and subsequent retirement of last season’s Golden Boot winner Leonard Tsipa as well as the departures of Simba Sithole and, of late, Abbas Amidu, had left Caps United desperate, which opened up a window of opportunity for the striker.
Chungwa has stepped out of the trio’s shadows and claimed his place in the limelight with a string of good performances that have resurrected last season’s champions.
And he has soaked all the pressure that comes with the responsibility of leading Caps United’s attack, driving himself to become a striker any coach would want in his team.
Chungwa has suddenly developed those traits characteristic of most top forwards of getting into the right position at the right time.
His right foot, left foot and the head have all become sources of joy for the Caps United faithful.
Chungwa has scored five goals in four matches, which have helped his club’s revival after a sluggish start to the campaign.
The Caps United forward found the target in their 1-0 win over ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium, where he scored a goal even any superstars would have been proud of.
He then followed that up with a goal against FC Platinum in a match that Caps United won 2-1.
Three days after leading Caps to the win over Norman Mapeza’s side, he hit a memorable brace of headers to condemn title-chasing Ngezi Platinum to a 3-0 hiding, with strike partner John Zhuwawo also on the scoresheet.
On Wednesday, he was not to be denied again, showing composure to control the ball before he picked his spot to hit the back of the nest again.
And so, Chungwa is flying.
From the dead, he has suddenly thrust himself in the frame for the Golden Boot award.
He has taken his tally to seven goals so far this season, three shy of Bukhosi Sibanda, who has since left to ply his trade in South Africa.
Terrence Dzvukamanja is another of Chungwa’s rivals with the Ngezi Platinum forward having scored eight to date.
Chungwa has played less games than his rivals with Caps United, having played four matches less than table toppers Chicken Inn.
The Green Machine still have 16 more matches to play and at the rate at which Chungwa is going, he is a sure bet for double figures.
Caps United assistant coach Fungai Kwashi lavished praise on his striker and expressed optimism his purple patch would continue for a while longer.
“We are happy for Chungwa and we hope that this will continue. But if you notice the statistics in the past years, he was top goal scorer for the club in 2013 and 2014,” he said.
“I think goals have always been inside him, but we are happy that he is scoring more goals now. And we just urge him to remain level-headed and keep working for the team because sometimes things might not work the way he likes.”
While Chungwa has always been among the club’s top scorers, endearing himself with the Caps faithful had always proved difficult, up until recently.
Coach Lloyd Chitembwe received stick from the Caps United fans over his preference for Chungwa last season.
Chungwa is repaying the faith and has since become the darling of the green army of supporters.