BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
CAPS UNITED . . . . . . (1)1
Chapungu . . . . . . ….(1)2
EXCITING winger Ian Nyoni was the toast of the day as Chapungu came from a goal down to hand log leaders Caps United their first defeat of the season in a scintillating PSL encounter at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
With the big win, Chapungu rose to the summit of the log standings despite having the same number of points as the Harare giants.
Gabriel Nyoni continued with his rich vein of form giving Caps United a 17th minute lead before Ian Nyoni set up two goals, Brighton Mugoni’s equalizer at the end of the first half and the winner by Patrick Kumbula soon after the restart to carry the day.
Chapungu have now built a reputation as good travellers after beating Triangle and Hwange on the road.
Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe was, however, proud in defeat.
“We knew that one day we would lose a game and this is one result that personally I would take with pride having gone for six matches without losing. We had very good wins and the performances have been excellent, “Chitembwe said.
“I am sure that even today the performance was excellent especially in the second half. First half, we started slow and in the second half we corrected as the boys realized the importance of the match. I am happy with their application and I think they gave their all.”
As expected Caps United cheered on by the vocal home crowd dominated the early exchanges.
Nyoni, who is enjoying life in the green and stripes, gave Caps United the lead 17 minutes into the match chesting down John Zhuwawu’s free-kick and blasting home from inside the box.
The hosts were gifted another opportunity to extend their lead moments later after Chapungu captain Collen Kwaramba was dispossessed at the back by Dominic Chungwa.
Chungwa chose to pass the ball with the goal gaping in front of him.
Chapungu made a number of forays into the Caps United half with Ian Nyoni involved in most of their raids but they failed to bother Prosper Chigumba.
Late first half pressure saw the visitors get a flurry of corner kicks and made it count from one of them.
Chapungu’s Nyoni flighted in the set piece which Mugoni met at the near post with a powerful header, giving Chigumba no chance.
Chapungu had another chance in the first half stoppage time but he headed wide Nyoni’s inviting cross at the back post.
The scores were level at halftime.
The Gweru-based airmen had a dream start to the second half, Patrick Kumbula nodding home Nyoni’s cross from the right in the 47th minute.
Veteran defender Method Mwanjale shot straight at the goalkeeper after the hosts got a free-kick on a dangerous spot.
Chitembwe pulled out Valentine Ndaba for Ronald Chitiyo, an attacker for a defender as Makepekepe engaged all-out attack.
Wave after wave of Makepekepe attack ensued but the airmen’s resolute defence stood tall.
Chapungu twice cleared the ball on the line as they gallantly fought for the maximum points.
Chapungu assistant coach Clement Musariri dedicated the win to head coach Rodwell Dhlakama who was conspicuous by his absence on the visitors’ dugout due to health problems.
“I want to dedicate this win to our head coach who is not feeling well. We are with him even though he is not feeling well, Mugari told journalists after the match.
Turning on to the match, Mugari said they came to Harare with a game plan.
“The game plan was to cut the supply from the midfield and defence and I am sure our guys did well,” he said.
Caps United: P Chigumba, V Musarurwa, V Ndaba (R Chitiyo 60′), G Goriati, M Mwanjale, B Sarupinda, P Bamusi, J Ngodzo, G Nyoni, J Zhuwawu, D Chungwa
Chapungu: T Shumba, E Chitauro, H Mugoniwa, C Kwaramba, B Mbavarira, E Muzanenhamo, I Nyoni (E Chirava 85′), P Kumbula (M Mavuto 80′), A Tavarwisa, B Mugoni, N Hunga (P Marufu 74′)