Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
CAPS United . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
CAPS United coach Mark Harrison was gutted by the two points dropped at home after his side fluffed some good scoring opportunities in a drawn Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Malawian international Gerald Phiri salvaged a point for the Green Machine when he scored direct from a corner kick in the 38th minute. But Harrison thought Makepekepe could have won comfortably were it not for their poor finishing.
The Harare giants had to come from behind to claim a share of the spoils after Raphael Manuvire had put ZPC Kariba ahead in the 15th minute with a well-taken shot following an exchange of passes with Artwell Nyamiwa.
“We created so many goal chances. I mean goal chances, not half chances. We should have won the game by five I think,” said Harrison.
“We got to start scoring goals, I think. But the positive thing is we are creating and we are creating good chances. The negative is obviously that we got to finish them off now.
“So when we go back to training this week we just need to work a little bit harder on our finishing, a little bit more concentration, I guess, and a little bit more positiveness when we get into the box.
“But it’s football, so what can we do? We just got to keep pushing, but am disappointed we dropped two points.”
Roderick Mutuma, Moses Muchenje, Kudzai Nyamufukudza, Leonard Fiyado and Phiri all came close to scoring yesterday, but disappointingly they couldn’t get the ball behind the nets.
Mutuma covered his face in shame in the 71st minute when he scooped the ball over the cross bar in what could have been the miss of the week, after receiving a fine cross from substitute Fiyado.
But it was Stephen Makatuka who should have felt hard done when the referee waved play on after his header from Phiri’s corner appeared to have crossed the line when it was cleared by Sylvester Appiah in the 31st minute.
ZPC Kariba appeared more content with the counter-attack as they let CAPS United play around with the ball while waiting for the break.
The trick worked well early in the game.
Manuvire broke through from the middle and got a return pass from Nyamiwa and before the CAPS United defence could re-organise itself, he fired a left-footer to the far right of goalkeeper Criss Mverechena to put his side in the lead.
But Phiri almost replied for Makepekepe instantly direct from a corner, but the visitors scrambled the ball out to safety. Then in the 31st minute he delivered another perfect corner which Makatuka headed in from the back post.
The ball appeared to have crossed the line and Makatuka was already celebrating when the referee waved play on. The CAPS United supporters wished the Premier Soccer League had the goal line technology to determine such incidents.
But Makepekepe looked dangerous with corner kicks, which troubled goalkeeper Tapiwa Zvaita and his defence and it was no surprise when Phiri got his name on the scoresheet with another curling effort from the dead ball.
Harrison was relieved with the goal.
“We work every week on our set-pieces. I keep telling the guys that it saves you games and wins you games and it has proved today.
“It saves you games because you are organised when defending set-pieces and wins you games when you are organised and disciplined in talking set-pieces. So it’s something we work on, it’s something I’m serious about,” said Harrison.
ZPC Kariba were always looking to get their opponents on the counter.
The visitors’ assistant coach Godfrey Tamirepi conceded they were “lucky” to escape with a point as they were content with chasing the ball and relying more on the break.
Daniel Chakupe could have done better when he was released by Manuvire in one of the counter-attacks, but the former Shabanie Mine man shot straight at the goalkeeper in the 46th minute.
“I think we were very fortunate because they had two or three chances which I thought they could have buried. If they were precise they could have actually killed us,” said Tamirepi.
“The most important thing that I’m happy about is that we managed to get a point away from home.
“But the performance was not good because we couldn’t string together more than three passes and we lost the ball unnecessarily. So in as far as the performance is concerned, I am not happy at all.
“We have to go back to the drawing board and make it a point that when we meet Flame Lily in our next game we play a different ball game altogether and make sure that we get a positive result,” Tamirepi said.
CAPS United: C. Mverechena, H. Zvirekwi, R. Pfumbidzai, C. Munzabwa, S. Makatuka, D. Mukandi, M. Muchenje, G. Phiri (R. Mutova, 84th minute), T. Mahori (K. Nyamufukudza, 77th minute), C. Machisi (L. Fiyado, 68th minute), R. Mutuma
ZPC Kariba: T. Zvaita, S. Sheshe, D. Phiri, G. Magariro, S. Appiah, T. Munyanduri, C. Mukanhairi (D. Dauda, 56th minute), P. Tafirenyika, A. Nyamiwa (R, Madamombe, 74t minute), R. Manuvire, D. Chakupe (C. Muchaya, 75th minute)