BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
An inspired second half performance saw struggling Harare giants Caps United rally from a goal down to beat ZPC Kariba and end their dream of progressing to the Chibuku Super Cup quarterfinals, at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Defender Joseph Thulani sparked the Green Machine’s comeback seven minutes after the restart, unleashing a thunderous volley from the edge of the box which took a big deflection on its way to the top corner.
Leeroy Mavhunga’s initial shot from point blank was saved by ZPC Kariba goalkeeper Tapiwa Chilenga, but the ball fell for Thulani, who let fly a screamer.
Striker Clive Augusto completed the comeback on the 69th minutes when he climbed the highest to plant a header beyond Chilenga from an inviting Tatenda Makurumidze corner kick.
But it was captain Phineas Bamusi who shone for Makepekepe throughout the match even when the chips were down and his performance deserved a goal.
ZPC Kariba, who needed an outright win by more than one goal to pip Harare City to the final qualifying slot for the knockout stages of the competition, had taken a 30th minute lead after a swift move which saw Moses Demera latch on to a Collen Muleya through ball to find the bottom corner from an angle.
Coach Godfrey Tamirepi was disappointed with the result.
“I am very disappointed by the result. This was a game which was within our control. Destiny was in our hands and we just gave it away, there was no fighting spirit. We are out.
“It’s done and dusted. We have to accept the result. We really need to look at where we went wrong and then map the way forward from there,” Tamirepi said.
Caps coach Darlington Dodo was delighted by the team’s response in the second half.
“I am actually happy for the boys. We responded well because we did not have a very good game in the first half.
“Our approach was wrong, but we changed the mental attitude in the second half.
“We started probing, we started doing the right things, we kept the ball very well, our movements were perfect and we were blessed with goals. What impressed me most was the conversion (rate) in the second half,” he said.
Caps, who crashed out of the competition last week, ended their Group 1 campaign on a high with their second win in 10 matches.
After the win Caps leapfrogged ZPC Kariba into third place on the final standings with 12 points, two behind second placed Harare City and nine adrift of table toppers Dynamos.
Caps and ZPC Kariba will now shift focus to the Premier League which is expected to begin early next month.
ZPC Kariba — T Chilenga (GK) S Nyabinde, C Mujuru, B Mutukure (S Makawa 71’), C Muleya, S Gorogodyo (T Machaya 71’), G Goriyati, M Mekiwa, M Demera (B Sbanda 84’), L Gwerina (V. Kawe 67’), B Juru (C)
Caps United — S Chinani (GK) M Diro Nyenye, C Mavhurume, B Mpofu, J Thulani, R Hachiro, T Makurumidze (J Zhuwawu 84’), T Pio, P Bamusi (C) L Mavunga (T Tumba 67’), C Augusto
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