CAPS UNITED . . . (0) 2
TRIANGLE . . . . . . (1) 1
CAPS United recovered from a goal down to see off Triangle in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at the National Sports Stadium, all but guaranteeing their premier league status.
After a sluggish start in which they fell behind just nine minutes into the match— courtesy of Emmaculate Mawuna, the Green Machine hit back in the second half with two goals.
The winning goal — an audacious strike from 45 yards out — came from an unlikely source, defender Ben Musaka right at the death.
Emmanuel Mandiranga had scored the leveller two minutes earlier — profiting from a cross by substitute Rodwell Chinyengetere.
But it was Musaka’s exquisite strike that sparked wild scenes of celebrations from the stands with the entire technical bench rising simultaneously to punch the air in delight.
It created joyful scenes, with the same supporters who turned on the coach only last week, singing Tinoteerera Chitembwe.
- CAPS United dismiss player strike reports
- CAPS United rob Wha Wha
- CAPS Utd salvage point in four-goal thriller
- Inside sport: What has gone wrong at Dynamos?
As the referee blew to end the match, the triumphant Caps players, perhaps unsure of what to expect from the supporters, walked briskly across the field before disappearing into the dressing room.
But Chitembwe and his lieutenants went and celebrated the victory, which took their points tally to 34 with five matches before the end of the campaign with the supporters.
“It was a great victory, which is what we needed at the moment. It was what mattered the most,” an emotional Chitembwe said.
“This result is for the supporters. They are very special. They have gone through a lot, let us be honest. I can imagine what they went through. I am a coach but I can imagine seven matches without a win. I am thankful to the boys’ spirit in the second half. It’s what we needed.
“These games sometimes it is not the tactics that are considered to be important but I feel what is more important is the mental fitness, considering the situation we are in.
“There are lot of things happening and we really needed calmness and the boys showed in the second half they were calm, composed and had patience. When you have that you are able to make the right decisions.”
Although the match was a balanced affair, the visitors had better chances in the first half in which Gerald Bero was a thorn in the flesh for the home team with his pace on the wings.
Besides providing an assist for Mawuna, he breached the Caps United defence on 36 minutes and cut in a dangerous cross for Mathew Hlabati but Marshal Machazane reacted quickly to put the ball out of danger.
However, a tactical substitution by Chitembwe to introduce Clive Rupiya for Phineas Bhumusi and Rodwell Chinyengetere for Devon Chafa turned the game on its head.
Triangle coach Jairos Tapera reportedly fell ill soon after the final whistle and sent his assistant Patrick Mandizha to talk to the press.
Mandizha said it was disappointing to throw away the lead and attributed it to players getting into a defensive mode which affected their game plan.
Caps United: T Mateyaunga, B Musaka, M Machazane, J Thulani, L Mangayira, D Chafa (R Chinyengetere, 78’), P Bhamusi, (Ian Nyoni, 36’), J Ngodzo, C Rupiya, W Manondo (T Chipunza, 90’)
Triangle: G Chitsumba, J Mukombwe, M Ngwenya, T Chisi, K Gwawo, T Kabanda, E Karembo, T Mutyambizi, (A Chivheya, 81’), M Hlabati, G Bero, E Mawuna (S Verenga, 64’)
Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe