Another Harare derby beckons

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File picture of Caps United players celebrate after scoring their second goal.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
SINCE promotion into the topflight league in 2017, Yadah have fought Harare football giants Caps United hard and long.

Despite their inexperience in the top division, Yadah have often risen to the occasion when playing against Caps United. They have demonstrated bravery, resilience and determination whenever they come up against the Green Machine.

And as the two teams face off in a league match on Sunday for the first time since 2019, it is perhaps important to go back to the archives to have an appreciation of the long rivalry between the two teams from the capital, just in case some might have forgotten because memory is not faithful you see — it suffers the erosion of time.

This Yadah team led by Genesis Mangombe has faced off Caps United six times in the league and won two of those encounters, with Caps United winning three while the other one — a four goal thriller ended in a 2-2 stalemate.

Then recently, Caps United were left deflated after they were beaten 2-1 by Yadah in the Chibuku Super Cup, with the other encounter ending in a 2-2 draw.

Those results put paid to their hopes of progressing in the tournament, the richest knockout tournament in the country.

Although they went on to win against ZPC Kariba, their dream had long been buried on that afternoon they lost to Yadah.

But then again, circumstances have since changed. Caps United now have a new coach Lloyd Chitembwe — the man who guided them to the championship in 2016. He replaced Darlington Dodo, who was sacked following a spate of dreadful results.

Incredibly, Chitembwe has turned around things at Caps United after bringing in a host of new faces — William Manondo, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Tatenda Tavengwa, Devon Chafa, Dennis Dauda and Marshal Machazane, among others.

The changes appear to have reinvigorated the team. In just 10 rounds of matches, he has thrust the Harare giants in contention for the ultimate prize of domestic football.

They are in seventh position on the log with 14 points, nine behind log leaders Chicken Inn after 10 rounds of matches, suggesting they can still catch up with the leading pack.

Their defeat, though, against lowly Tenax is the only blemish after posting a good run of
results.

On Sunday, they should draw strength from that defeat if they are to remain in contention. With perhaps one of the best attackers in domestic football, which include the likes of leading goal scorer Manondo, Clive Augusto, Phineas Bhamusi, Ian Nyoni and Rodwell Chinyengetere, Caps United have an opportunity to make amends.

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