CAPS UNITED. . . . 0
TRIANGLE. . . . (0) 2
CAPS United displayed a lacklustre show to slump to a home defeat to Triangle in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at Rufaro Stadium yesterday, a defeat hard to swallow for the Green Machine supporters in the context of the big Harare derby coming up at the weekend.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
United face Dynamos at Rufaro on Sunday, and such an embarrassing defeat was the last thing the team’s supporters were expecting ahead of the clash against their main rivals.
The few home supporters that watched yesterday’s match expressed displeasure at the final whistle when they gestured at coach Lloyd Chitembwe (pictured), who they hold responsible for the team’s poor showing in recent times.
Obviously, Triangle have been superb this season, but what was frustrating for the Caps United faithful was that the Lowveld side didn’t even have to get out of second gear to beat the home team convincingly.
After a goalless first half in which both sides created half chances, Triangle were more clinical in the second stanza, with former United winger Phineas Bhamusi unplayable.
Lameck Nhamo put the visiting side in front in the 52nd minute, profiting from a Bhamusi cross, before Ralph Kawondera made sure of maximum points on 75 minutes, connecting a corner kick by Russel Madamombe.
Bhamusi, for his part, received a standing ovation from the supporters and some cash in acknowledgement of his contribution.
Chitembwe, meanwhile, looked a dejected man in the post-match conference.
“The difference for me was in desire. These guys were hungrier than us and that was the difference. They were always the first on the ball, they always wanted to compete for every single ball and they were winning most of the duels. I think that is where we lost it. We really looked poor today and I am sure that the players do understand that today’s performance did not match the expectations. It’s very disappointing that collectively, as a team, we were not in good form. But at the end of the day, as a coach naturally you take responsibility and I am very much aware. We take full responsibility,” Chitembwe said.
“The reaction of the fans is justified. When they come expecting to win and the team doesn’t win, obviously you expect them to react that way, but at the end of the day, you are a coach, you know what it is, to win and lose and you have been there and you have done that. What is more important is to try and manage the situation. I am sensible, their concerns are as good as my concerns. I also want the team to win.”
The victorious coach Taurai Mangwiro said: “I am happy with the praise that they showered him (Bhamusi) at the end of the match. It shows there is no bad blood. Yes, we are rivals for 90 minutes, but outside of it, we are good friends. I want to, this time, salute the supporters for the gesture. It’s not often you see such kind of behaviour. You usually have all sorts of insults being hurled at you.
“We did very well travelling to Harare to play against Caps United and getting maximum points. It’s something that we need to applaud. It took the team some good work, team spirit and everyone fighting for the team. We executed our game plan very well.
“We needed to survive the early onslaught. The first 15 to 20 minutes were very crucial for us. Once we survived that period, we tried to take our game to them as much as possible. We got the much-needed goals and, at the end, we defended resolutely to cross the finishing line.”
The defeat once again laid bare the impotence of Caps United’s attack, which has struggled to find the back of the net in the past five matches, where they have just managed to score one goal — their 1-0 victory over Black Rhinos.
The Harare giants were always second to the ball and Triangle came close on four minutes when Collins Dhuwa’s effort from a Madamombe cross crashed against the crossbar.
They would be rewarded for their hardwork early in the second half when Nhamo glanced a header past goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba after profiting from a cross by Bhamusi.
Sensing danger, Chitembwe made a double substitution, bringing on Brian Muzondiwa for Cabby Kamhapa and Peter Moyo for Mitchell Katsvairo, respectively.
However, it was the visitors who doubled their advantage, with Kawondera finishing off a corner kick by Madamombe.
United also had their fair share of chances late on, but Milton Ncube and Dominic Mukandi fluffed those opportunities.
Caps United: P Chigumba, K Nyamupfukudza, (C Munzabwa, 38’), V Musarurwa, M Mwanjale, S Makatuka, C Kamhapa (B Muzondiwa, 62’), D Mukandi, J Ngodzo, H Zvirekwi, M Katsvairo (PMoyo, 62’), M Ncube
Triangle: T Chilenga, P Tonha, M Chiveya, M Kawondera, N Dzvinyai, K Chigwida, C Dhuwa, G Madamombe, A Murimba (T Mavhunga, 68’), L Nhamo, P Bamusi, (H Bakachesa, 87’)