BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
CAPS United are determined to break the Barbourfields Stadium jinx as they make the trip to Bulawayo for a potentially explosive Castle Lager Premiership tie against old foes Highlanders on Sunday.
The Harare giants have struggled to overcome Highlanders at Barbourfields in league encounters, having, in the past 10 years only managed to beat them 1-0 in 2015.
Takudzwa Mahori was the hero of the afternoon after scoring the only goal that counted for the Green Machine to collect maximum points at Barbourfields.
Last season, Caps United also failed to score at Barbourfields after the two teams shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw. In November 2017, they managed one goal each, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw. The previous year they had fired blanks at the same venue where they were edged 1-0.
In May 2014, they were hammered 4-0 after having demolished the Bulawayo giants by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture at home. In 2013, they also drew blanks at BF following a 0-0 draw while they were edged 1-0 at the same venue in 2012. In 2011, Caps suffered a 1-0 defeat in Bulawayo, while they also failed to find the back of the nets in 2010 when they were overcome 1-0 in Bulawayo.
Although they managed to score two goals in 2009, they could not collect all three points with the match ending in a 2-2 draw.
There have been 41 goals between the two teams in 20 league meetings since 2009 and it remains to be seen whether Caps will be able to repeat the feat of May 2015 when they returned to Harare with maximum points.
Caps coach Lloyd Chitembwe, while admitting they have had problems at Barbourfields, yesterday remained bullish ahead of the clash.
The Green Machine coach watched Highlanders in action on Saturday when they were held to a 1-1 draw against army side Black Rhinos and believe they can snatch victory at BF on Sunday.
“We are expecting a difficult game. It has been difficult for us playing them at Barbourfields, but we have got the capacity and belief to go there and make them feel our game.
We are ready to face them. The situation that we have, as far as health issues are concerned, is that the players are fit. The first win was an important win for us as we go to Bulawayo,” he said.
Chitembwe said he wanted to see how his charges would react away from home after a good performance at home which saw them dismissing Manica Diamonds 2-0 in their season opener.
“I just want to see the reaction after a good home performance, I want to see how they react away from the usual familiar environment,” he said.
He said he had not given any special instruction to those former Highlanders players who will be facing their former team for the first time since their switch at the start of season.
Caps signed forward Nyoni, Newman Sianchali from Highlanders while Valentine Ndaba joined after a stint with Dynamos to link up with midfielder Joel Ngodzo who has since established himself at the club after joining a couple of years back.
The Green Machine appear to be a formidable side that can challenge for honours this term after a largely dispiriting campaign last term which saw them finishing a distant eighth in the championship race.