BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA CAPS United’s defensive frailties could soon be a thing of the past following the return of Marshal Machazane to training after a lay-off due to a recurrent hamstring injury.
Since limping off from the pitch in the 1-0 victory over Bulawayo City on March 12, Machazane has not played a part in the Green Machine’s challenge.
Incredibly, when he made his debut in the 6-0 annihilation of WhaWha after joining from Harare City, it was the first time Caps recorded a clean sheet having been hammered 6-2 by Manica Diamonds in Mutare the previous week. They recorded another clean sheet in Bulawayo the following week in a 1-0 victory over Bulawayo City.
While the Green Machine celebrated the victory laced with a clean sheet, Machazane was groaning in pain after his hamstring recurred during the course of the match.
Since then, Caps’ defence solidity has been called into question. The Harare football giants went on to concede in a 1-1 draw against old rivals Highlanders in a match both sides displayed perhaps the best performance so far.
Caps then let in two goals in the 3-2 victory over Herentals and conceded a double again in the defeat to Tenax on Sunday.
The defeat, having been inflicted by a newly-promoted outfit, represents a low point for Makepekepe.
Machazane, who has also played for Highlanders and Dynamos, is widely regarded as one of the best central defenders in the country. He even won the praise of coach Lloyd Chitembwe in the victory over WhaWha.
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“It was a very good performance with Machazane making his debut, he gave us the solidity that we didn’t have in Mutare and especially that we didn’t concede, It was good for him.”
Although he will not play a part when Caps face Yadah on Sunday as he is still doing light training, the fact that he has recovered will be great news to the Makepekepe faithful.
Caps physiotherapist Tendai Moyana yesterday said Machazane had started light training, adding that he would monitor his progress before he is certified fit to play.
“Machazane is recovering well. He started light training today (yesterday). He had a recurring hamstring and will keep monitoring him.”
The defender is one of the former Harare City players to link up with Chitembwe at the Harare football giants who had already snapped up striker William Manondo and midfielder Tatenda Tavengwa from the Sunshine City Boys.
Despite the setbacks, the Harare football giants placed seventh on the log with 14 points, nine behind leaders Chicken Inn after 10 rounds of matches remain one of the favourites for the championship at the end of the campaign.
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