Sweet and sour

BY Kevin Mapasure

CAPS UNITED . . . . . . . . . (2)2

HIGHLANDERS . . . . . . . . (1)1

If this was Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s farewell match, then it was a flourishing finish as his team put up a splendid performance to beat Highlanders in an exciting Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

Chitembwe has been linked with a move to Harare City and after he was given the platform to deny the rumour by the media yesterday, he refused to address the question, further fuelling speculation that indeed his time at the Green Machine where he has won the league title could be over.

Judging by his body language, during and just after the match, one could have dispelled the notion that he was on his way out.

Just after the final whistle he punched the air with passion and took his entire team to salute the fans who had spurred them from start to finish in this
blockbuster clash.

But it was his address in the Press conference where he struggled to simply deny that he was leaving choosing to say: “It’s a story for another day. I don’t
want anything to spoil this performance, I think other issues are a destruction to the performance”

If indeed he is confirmed as the new Harare City coach as is widely expected this week, it could be a difficult week for the Green Machine fans who saw their
team move to within a point of log leaders FC Platinum in the race for the title.

Yesterday’s game pitted two giants, however, with different ambition as the home side have their eyes on the main prize while Bosso are only looking to lift themselves into more respectable position on the table.

This match carried so much expectation of high value entertainment and it matched every bit of that anticipation.

Both teams went for it from the start as they traded punches with Highlanders landing the first blow with a Ray Lunga goal with just eight minutes on the
clock.

Caps United responded 19 minutes later with a goal by Kelvin Ndebele before Clive Rupiya scored one of the most beautiful goals that will be seen this season.

Pity there were no television cameras, for those that saw it will find it hard to aptly describe it to those that missed out.

Pity too that there were not television cameras to capture a contentious moment late in the second half where Bosso thought they had scored when the ball
bounced off the bar and hit the ground before Caps United goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba scooped it to safety.

The Highlanders fans and players remonstrated with the match officials contending that the ball had crossed the line and there may never be conclusive evidence
for them to at least prove their case even though the points can no longer be saved.

Highlanders also have themselves to blame as they fluffed a glut of chances with the lively Prince Dube going eye-ball to eye-ball with Chigumba, but failing
to beat him as did Maclive Phiri in the second half.

Caps on their other hand will be happy to take the points, but know too they could have scored more with the Ndebele being their main culprit.

While it was Highlanders who scored first, it should have been Caps United, who opened the scoring but after motoring well into the box Dominic Chungwa failed
to beat a drawn out Ariel Sibanda.

At the other end Dube troubled Caps all afternoon and made a fine run on the left to produce a peach of a pass to Lunga, who needed a simple tap in for the
first goal.

Highlanders kept lacerating the Caps defence with Chigumba pulling off some good saves.

Caps were failing to get hold of the ball with Joel Ngodzo struggling in the early stages.

Ndebele had begun to annoy the Green Machine fans as he struggled for ball control with his intended passes often straying.

He needed something to convince them that he deserved his run.

The heavens smiled on him from a rebound following a Dominic Mukandi header he beat a stranded Sibanda on 27 minutes.

Five minutes later Rupiya produced a moment of magic curling a shot over a bewildered Sibanda and into the top corner after he was released by Mukandi.
Ngodzo, who seemed to have been struggling suddenly found his mojo and started to boss the midfield with his artistry and skill.

Three minutes after the break Ndebele could have increased Caps’ tally after getting to the end of a Zvirekwi set piece ,but he shot high with only Sibanda to
beat.

Bosso took control of the second half, but they let themselves down and maybe luck too was not on their side.

Teams

Caps United: P Chigumba, J Jangano, M Mwanjale, G Goriati, H Zvirekwi, K Nyamupfukudza, D Mukandi, J Ngodzo, K Ndebele, C Rupiya, D Chungwa

Highlanders: A Sibanda, A Silla, B Banda, R Lunga, A Mbeba, P Muduhwa, M Ndlovu, M Sibanda, P Dube, D, Mhindirira

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