BULAWAYO CHIEFS . . . . . . (0)2
CAPS UNITED . . . . . . . . . . . 0(1)
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe threatened to quit due to off-field problems at the club when his team suffered their third successive defeat after a loss against Bulawayo Chiefs in an entertaining Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
In a post match monologue Chitembwe alleged that there was negative energy being put in by unnamed characters at the club, which he said was affecting his players' performances.
Yesterday's loss was Caps United's second on the trot since the resumption of the league last week and they also lost their last match before the campaign was paused last month.
In total, Makepekepe, who have now dropped to 10th on the log, are winless in their last five matches, with their last win coming back in May when they edged Yadah 1-0 at the National Sports Stadium.
"We have lost two on the trot, (which) is very very disappointing but what is more disappointing is the fact that it is not a consequence of poor performance, but I feel there are certain things we need to address as a football club and it's quite disappointing," Chitembwe said.
"You know I have been in football for a while particularly at Caps, both as a player and a coach. There are certain team dynamics that really need to be managed for the team to achieve greatness. In this case it's very disappointing when some people are putting effort, but other people are bringing negative energy.
"Obviously efforts to try and wrest control of the way I do things. It will be very disappointing, but all the same it's a result personally I will not take exception to. These things have been happening for a while. There are games we were supposed to win, but could not win," he said.
While it was agony for Chitembwe, in contrast it was a dream start for his counterpart Joseph Sibindi who has started his tenure as Bulawayo Chiefs coach with a victory after his team edged Caps United.
Sibindi, who was the head coach at Zifa Southern Region Division Two outfit Nust FC replaced Lizwe Sweswe during the week and his chargers handed him an important victory courtesy of an Obriel Chirinda brace.
The turning point in the match was in the 42nd minute. In a moment of madness, Caps United midfielder Blessing Sarupinda earned himself a needless red card in the 44th minute for a lunge on Danny Phiri. Referee Mhaka Magare had no option, but to send him off for an early shower.
Caps were quick off the blocks and in the first minute, Ian Nyoni failed to pick his spot after a good cross by Phineas Bhamusi as they dominated the early exchanges.
Chiefs forward Chirinda then went on a mazy run in the 14th minute, but he shot wide of goal.
Nyoni was proving to be a handful for the Chiefs defence on the wide channels and he won numerous free kicks within the first quarter. Innocent Zambezi had an opportunity to head Caps into the lead in the 21st minute, but he directed his header wide after a Murwira cross from a free kick.
Chiefs best opportunity of the half fell to Ayanda Ncube in the 34th minute when he fired goalwards after being teed by Brian Rusinga, but found goalkeeper Ashley Reyners alert as he pushed the ball away for a corner kick.
Two quick opportunities at both ends almost gave either side the lead with Kelvin Madzongwe shooting straight at the keeper in the 36th minute as Caps sought to surge ahead. Ncube again tried from a distance but he found Reyners in fine form in the 37th minute.
Chirinda then thrust Chiefs into the lead in the 47th after curling his effort into the top corner from a Mthokozisi Msebe lay off. The duo could have combined for the last time as Chiefs' players with Highlanders their likely destination.
Nyoni then missed a sitter in the 58th minute when he chose to go for power than precision with the Chiefs goalkeeper Issa Ali badly exposed.
Chirinda scored his second of the day in the 61st minute when he coolly controlled a Rusinga pass, sold his marker a dummy and placed his effort beyond Reyners's reach.
In the 65th minute Chirinda should have completed a hattrick but Reyners did well to cover the near post to narrow the angle as Chiefs threatened to overrun their opponents.
Clive Rupiya then pulled one back for Caps from a header after Ali had failed to deal with a harmless looking cross from Bhamusi in the 80th minute.
Caps should have equalised in the 85th minute when Bhamusi's delivery in the box was nodded onto the path of Joseph Tulani by Rupiya, but Felix Moyo's last ditch tackle was enough to thwart the effort. He was again sent through on goal two minutes later, but again he failed to beat Ali in goals for Chiefs.
Sibindi was elated after winning his first match in charge and he praised his chargers for their effort in achieving the victory.
"The boys played well, the coach can only contribute 10%. Ninety percent comes from the players. What we did was to just work on their mindset from the time I came on Tuesday and also trying to get them to understand their objective to play football," said Sibindi.
Bulawayo Chiefs: I Ali, K Sibanda, B Nyahunzvi, M Msebe (N Ncube 70), A Ncube, O Chirinda (N Gama 70), B Rusinga, D Phiri, M Gasela, F Moyo, F Matare (B Vheremu 76').
Caps United: A Reyners, G Murirwa, I Zambezi, H Chapusha, K Madzongwe, P Musaka (C Rupiya 38') , B Sarupinda, J Tulani, P Bamusi (T Rusike 77'), I Nyoni, W Manondo (J Daka 77')