BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
ZPC Kariba coach Rodwell Dhlakama has backed fallen Harare football giants Caps United to weather the storm after their struggles have left them hanging just above the drop zone.
The Green Machine are on a sorry run of seven straight defeats, and are now firmly in the relegation dogfight.
Despite an improved showing against ZPC Kariba, where they fluffed several chances, Caps were punished late on when a cross by Samuel Makawa deflected off defender Marshal Machazane following a breakdown in communication with goalkeeper Tendai Munditi and rolled into the nets.
That defeat dropped them to 14th place on the log standings with 17 points.
Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe says the run was the worst phase of his football career.
“It’s very deflating and very disappointing,” Chitembwe said afterwards.
“This will obviously rank among the poorest phases of my career and it’s very disappointing. I thought performance wise, it was a decent performance, but we needed more than just a decent performance.
“We needed more guts, we needed more courage, we needed to have more character knowing what is at stake. We have not won for quite a number of games. It’s extremely disappointing if you look at how we conceded that goal. I thought the situation was under control, but just one mistake or two and failure to communicate, it costs you.”
But Dhlakama said he was impressed by the tenacity shown by the Green Machine and believes they will do well in the campaign.
“What is important is game management. They (Caps United) played a lot of football in their defensive third. Ninety percent of their possession was in the defensive third and it was not much of a threat to us,” he said.
“They had no partnerships upfront and that made us very comfortable in terms of defending. But they played very well compared to the previous games I have watched. I think with the tenacity which I saw, they will do well.”
Defender Ben Musaka was impressive in his debut, having been plagued by injuries since joining from Harare City, but could not halt Caps United’s poor run.
With Rodwell Chinyengetere suspended for the game, Chitembwe threw Joseph Thulani into the central striking role to partner William Manondo, while Enock Karembo partnered Devon Chafa in midfield, taking the place of injured Tatenda Tavengwa.
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