Caps United title bid stutters



CAPS United’s championship bid suffered a jolt yesterday after they fell at home to Ngezi Platinum Stars in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie at the National Sports Stadium.


After an impressive show in the Harare derby against rivals Dynamos last week, Caps went into the match, seeking to replicate that form, but couldn’t find their gears against a spirited Ngezi Platinum Stars side.

Two first half goals by Donald Teguru and Tichaona Mabvura was all the visitors needed to secure maximum points.

The Harare giants responded with a consolation goal by Hardlife Zvirekwi at the stroke of half timer.

The visitors carved out good chances in the first half, while Caps struggled for fluency with most of their passes going astray.

Ngezi missed a good opportunity after six minutes with Polite Moyo heading the ball over the bar from a corner kick by Qadr Amini.

Their persistence paid off on 21 minutes when Mlilo Mandlenkosi rounded off Justice Jangano on the right before setting up an unmarked Teguru, who responded with a low shot that beat goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba.

Ngezi continued to enjoy their dominance and Amini came close with a speculative effort on the half hour mark. Six minutes later, the home team could have levelled matters, but Dominic Chungwa sent his effort wide, following a set up by Ronald Chitiyo.

Mabvura then doubled the lead on 41 minutes with a speculative low drive from about 25 yards after the home defence had hesitated to close him down.

Stunned by the visitors’ early lead, the Green Machine fought hard and pulled one back courtesy of Zvirekwi. The versatile player took a corner kick which was defended by the visitors and as the ball bounced, he pounced and struck a hard and low shot to the far right corner.

In the second half, Caps could have fallen further behind when Mandlenkosi disposed defender Method Mwanjale, but Chigumba denied him with a classic save.

The Green Machine however, refused to throw in the towel and could have scored their second goal five minutes from the end, but substitute Kelvin Ndebele’s effort crashed against the cross bar.

Ngezi coach Erol Akbay was pleased with the result, but there was a huge disappointment for his counterpart Lloyd Chitembwe whose third-placed side could have closed the gap on log leaders FC Platinum to a point, with a win.
Caps United

P Chigumba, C Rusere (V Musarurwa 35’), M Mwanjale, H Zvirekwi, R Chitiyo, J Ngodzo, K Nyamupfukudza, V Ndaba, (K Ndebele 81’),J Zhuwawo, D Chungwa

Ngezi Platinum

N Chadya, B Mtigo, M Mandlenkosi (O Miniru 75’), P Moyo, F Makarati, T Machisa, Q Amini, D Teguru (B Sahondo 85’), T Mabura (K Muura 53’), M Mushonga