HomeSportChitembwe rubbishes Caps link

Chitembwe rubbishes Caps link

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BY HENRY MHARA

HERENTALS . . . . . . . .(1)1

HARARE CITY . . . . . . . . 0

HARARE City coach Lloyd Chitembwe has dismissed speculation linking him with a return to Caps United, and even appeared to take a dig at his former club.

He was in charge of City in their opening match of the 2021/22 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season yesterday where they lost to Herentals at the National Sports Stadium.

Tino Benza’s second minute strike was enough to give the Students maximum points.

But the build-up to this match was dominated by reports claiming that Chitembwe, a title winner with Caps United in 2016, had agreed to return to the club to take over from Darlington Dodo, who was fired earlier this week.

Dodo and his entire technical staff were sacked after a poor run of results in the Chibuku Super Cup tournament, where they crashed out in the group stages.

Speaking to the Press after yesterday’s match, Chitembwe said he was happy at City, where “he feels respected” by the club’s leadership.

“I think that (report) was a distraction,” Chitembwe said.

Chitembwe left Caps United in a huff three years ago, dumping the club late in the season when they were in pole position to win the league title.

“I’m at a club where I do adore the leadership, where I feel respected and I also cherish to be here, so such kind of statements coming from people who have never asked me of anything is a bit misdirected and it’s very unfortunate as it is misplaced,” he said.

“I’m Harare City coach unless they tell me to leave, I will probably leave in a second,” he added before turning to his assessment of yesterday’s match.

He blamed the defeat to the absence of three key players who missed the match due to injuries.

“Considering the fact that we were missing some key players in the team, (this result was expected). We are a team that does not have many players in terms of numbers and if you were to lose Marshal Machazane, Ben Musaka and Hastings Chapusha, then a big part of your team is taken away, so this really affected us, but all the same, I’m very proud of how these boys applied themselves. Going forward, I’m sure we have a team,” Chitembwe said.

Herentals surged in front early on in the match when rightback Willmore Chimbetu galloped forward past his marker and his precise cross found Benza, who showed great composure inside the box to beat the keeper with the outside of his boot for the first goal of the league season.

City looked to hit back immediately, but William Manondo’s deflected shot kissed the foot of the upright before his snap shot on the half hour mark went straight to the keeper as was his headed effort moments later.

Herentals managed to soak up the pressure and could have killed off the contest in the second half when they were presented with a number of opportunities.

Two of the best three chances that they got fell to young Benza, who couldn’t execute well.

Students coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva was thrilled with a winning start to the season.

He is targeting finishing in the top half of the league.

“It’s always good for a team to have a good start to the season,” Mutiwekuziva said.

“Having a win, especially against a good team like Harare City, is quite good for the players’ confidence going forward. I’m happy that we scored early as that disturbed the opponents’ strategy,” he said before heaping praise on the goalscorer.

Teams

Herentals: P Tafiremutsa, K Bingala, Z Ruguchu, W Chimbetu, T Benza, G Chinobva, C Zimhondi, I Benza (S Murove, 46’), W Kapumha, T Jim (P Chiota, 76’), B Majarira

Harare City: K Shangiwa, T Tavengwa, Z Bizeki, I Zambezi, S Masunda, M Muchenje, W Manondo, C Rupiya, D Masukuta, E Ziocha (W Muvirimi, 31’) E Mandiranga

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