Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
CAPS United . . . . . (0) 1
FC Platinum. . . . . . . . .0RONALD Pfumbidzai put his personal woes behind him as he lived up to the promise he had made to his coach yesterday with a fine goal against FC Platinum at the National Sports Stadium to give the Harare giants a perfect record in their opening two games of the season.
The Zimbabwe youth international told his coach Mark Harrison before the match that he was going to score in his new boots soon after the Makapekepe players received new sets of boots from their technical sponsors, Joma.
Makepekepe players and their bench looked immaculate in their new kit which they received from their sponsors last Friday.
The Green Machine, however, struggled with their game as they were always second to the ball with FC Platinum dictating the pace for the most part of the afternoon.
But Norman Mapeza’s men, for all their industry and the patient build-ups from the back, were very disappointing in the final third where they could not get enough shots on target.
Pfumbidzai was the unlikely hero when he got an opening and placed the ball beyond goalkeeper Petros Mhari at the second attempt after his initial effort was blocked by teammate Rodreck Mutuma in the 74th minute.
It was a priceless win as demonstrated by the way Harrison ran onto the pitch, jumped and punched the air in celebration.
“All the guys got new Joma boots today and he said I am going to score today and so he did,” said Harrison.
“Getting six points in our first two matches is good. We are ahead of our expectations and we have surpassed the targets that we had set ourselves.
“It wasn’t the prettiest performance but we were playing one of the better sides in the league. By far they were very comfortable on the ball.
“I think in the first half we gave them too much room and time to play. Second half we closed up a little bit more and we looked a little bit more in control. “You can’t always play well and win. If you play badly and win, then happy days.”
CAPS United joined old rivals Dynamos at the top of the table as they remained the only two teams that have won both their matches at the start of the season.
Harrison yesterday made four changes to the team that played their season-opener with Chrispen Machisi, Takudzwa Mahori, Thabani Moyo and Pfumbidzai making the starting line-up while old horses Leonard Tsipa and Ashley Rambanapasi were introduced from the bench.
Veteran forward Tsipa expertly turned a header in the 71st minute when he responded to a cross by Mahori in a counter attack but defender Aaron Katebe blocked it out to safety.
Stephen Makatuka could have done better from the resultant corner kick but he could not direct his shot on target from close range.
Harrison said he is looking forward to the experienced pair of Tsipa and Rambanapasi to play a crucial role in their quest this season.
“You need experience as well, Leonard brings experience to the team and so does Ashley. That’s the reason I signed Ashley at the last minute.
“He brings great experience, is a great leader, is a great example to the young players definitely and putting him in a game like that in the last 10 minutes you expect him to just go and close the shop, which he did.
“You need experience. If you got to be challenging at the end of the season you need experienced players in your quad, that’s for sure,” said Harrison.
But FC Platinum had better chances yesterday. They played a basic passing game with Donald Ngoma and Walter Musona occasionally finding themselves in attacking positions but their finishing was a huge concern.
Musona did well in the 38th minute when he surged into the box from the left and decided to square the ball across the face of goal.
Unfortunately, there were no takers and Makepekepe survived the raid.
The Young Warriors striker then had a better opportunity to put his team ahead in the 70th minute, unmarked at the back post, but he could not control his header from Ian Nekati’s high ball.
“It’s still early in the season. It happens in football. We just have to keep working hard. I think the results will come. We were not clinical enough in the final third,” coach Norman Mapeza said. “We created some decent chances in the first half. We were far much better but at the end of the day that is football. We still have to work hard and hope that we get some positive results in the future games.
“God knows our destiny. Everybody wants to pick up positive results in the first games of the season but we lost and we have to move on.”
CAPS United – V. Twaliki, H. Zvirekwi, R. Pfumbidzai, S. Makatuka, C. Munzabwa, D. Mukandi, M. Muchenje, C. Machisi (Z. Bizeki, 66th minute), T. Mahori, R. Mutuma (A. Rambanapasi, 87th minute), T. Moyo
FC Platinum – P. Mhari, I. Nekati, K. Moyo, G. Bello, A. Katebe, T. Kamusoko, S. Shoko (W. Kamudyariwa, 57th minute), W. Mutasa (A. Gahadzikwa, 66th minute), W. Musona, D. Ngoma (O. Chirwa, 80th minute), B. Muzondiwa