BY Kevin Mapasure
THE spotlight falls on underfire Caps United coach Darlington Dodo as he leads his team in a must-win Chibuku Super Cup Group 1 match against Herentals at Baobab Stadium tomorrow morning.
The Highlanders and Chicken Inn collision at Barborfields Stadium tomorrow would have been the biggest match of the weekend, but with the two having booked their places into the quarter-finals, all eyes will be on Caps, whose campaign is struggling for air.
Caps sunk to fourth on the Group 1 table after their defeat to Harare City on Thursday, a result that cultivated the seeds of doubt on Dodo’s capacity to take the club forward.
The Green Machine fell 10 points behind rivals Dynamos in the six-team pool and two points behind Harare City, who occupy the second and last qualifying spot.
Anything less than maximum points could plunge Caps into further chaos and their chances of claiming a quarter-final spot will further diminish.
After the Herentals match, they will still have two matches against Dynamos and ZPC Kariba and nothing is guaranteed in those.
Caps have been a subject of scorn after the Harare City defeat and would want to change that perspective.
That Dodo failed to lead Caps to the league title in 2019 despite taking over with the team’s chances bright has also not helped the former ZPC Kariba mentor.
Following the defeat on Thursday, Dodo said he would help his players to be clinical in front of goal.
However, he sounded confident about the team’s chances of progressing to the next stage in the lucrative tournament.
“We still have three matches to go, you never know what will happen,” he said.
“Mind you, all the teams are going to play each other, so we are still focusing on what we want to achieve.
“I am going to urge the boys to pick it up from where they left in the first half. I thought we started the way we wanted. We kept possession and created chances, but we couldn’t convert. Scoring is the missing link. It was painful to lose the way we did because we created chances, especially in the first half.”
Dodo said the departure of Blessing Sarupinda and Ishmael Wadi could not be used as an excuse, saying they had to make do with resources at their disposal.
Wadi scored four goals before he departed and Caps brought in Clive Augusto, who was seemingly starved of clean supply on Thursday.
“We are going to regroup and plan for the Herentals match after a disappointing match against Harare City. We need to be clinical in the Herentals game,” Dodo said.
“We don’t have to cry over the movement of players because it’s the nature of the profession. It’s good for the boys and the institution, we need to come up with other combinations to make sure we are a team that is recognised.”
Today: ZPC Kariba v Dynamos (National Sports Stadium, 11am), Cranborne Bullets v Black Rhinos (Sakubva, 3pm), FC Platinum v Triangle (Mandava, 1pm)
Tomorrow: Caps v Herentals (Baobab Stadium, 11am), Yadah v Harare City Baobab Stadium, 3pm), WhaWha v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Mandava 11am), Bulawayo Chiefs v Bulawayo City (Barbourfields, 11am), Manica Diamonds v Tenax (Sakubva, 1pm), Highlanders v Chicken Inn Barbourfields, 3pm)
Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinMapasure