Ten-men Caps United eased past Chapungu with a comfortable win in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie played at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Two first-half goals from in-form Simba Nhivi and Brian Muzondiwa were enough to seal the victory for Caps United.
Nhivi opened the scoring on the 35th minute when he nodded the ball home from a delightful free kick whipped in by Valentine Musarurwa.
The former Dynamos striker has always delivered at Ascot. In 2016, he scored the solitary goal that led to Caps United’s coronation as champions against the same opponents.
On their last trip to Ascot, he scored a hat trick that helped Caps account for Nichrut’s scalp in a dramatic 3-4 win.
On the stroke of half-time, Brian Muzondiwa doubled the score for the Green Machine to leave Chapungu with a big task.
The former FC Platinum gunslinger made some impressive runs on and off the ball and he capitalised on a mistake by goalie Talbert Shumba at the edge of the box to calmly slot the ball into an empty net.
It was a moment of madness as Shumba threatened to quit the game, after a foul cry was turned down and it took his coach Rodwell Dlakama to persuade him back.
Caps were reduced to 10 men moments after the half-time break when stand-in skipper Justice Jangano was red-carded after he deliberately handled the ball on the goal line.
Referee Arnold went on to award Chapungu a penalty, but Caps goalie Chris Mverechena did well to deny Brighton Mugoni.
Caps United coach Llyold Chitembwe praised his team for a brave second half after they were reduced to 10 men.
“It was a difficult game, but we made sure that we capitalised on every mistake that they made,” he said. “We were effective on the wings and that paid dividends with Valentine and Brian doing well for us.
“The execution was also good and overall the boys did well. But I still feel we have a lot of work to do and here is a long way to go before we attain perfection. We were not so impressive but who cares, we got the result we needed. I am happy the boys maintained responsibility after we were reduced to 10 men. Despite lack of flair, we got what we came here for,” he said.
His counterpart, Rodwell Dlakama was disappointed that his team wasted chances.
“We could not utilise the chances that came our way and on a good day we could have won against 10 men. We now go back to the drawing board to see how best we can move away from this situation. I think we need to work on the team’s mental strength so that we avoid scenes like what Talbert did in the first half,” he said.
Several times, the airmen were awarded set pieces in promising positions, but Caps goalkeeper Chris Mverechena did well to clear his lines.
Bruno Mtigo hit the side nets on the 37-minute mark while Emmanuel Chitauro’s left footer from outside the box was parried away by Mverechena.
Having collected just 13 points so far, Chapungu will be worried about their status in the topflight, while Caps will be happy to pick another set of three points.
Chapungu: T Shumba, T Kumbuyani, E Chitauro, B Mbavarira, M Muchingami, C Kwaramba, I Nyoni, M Mavuto, A Tavarwisa (L Gwerima 76), B Mtigo (B Mugoni 46), P Marufu.
Caps United: C Mverechena, J Jangano, D Dauda, C Munzabwa, G Goriyati, C Kamhapa, (D Mukandi 46), K Nyamupfukudza, B Muzondiwa (P Moyo 55), V Musarurwa, J Zhuwawu, S Nhivi