Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
CAPS United . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Buffaloes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
LLOYD Chitembwe made a false start on his return as CAPS United head coach but the former Zimbabwe international believes his side will come good with time despite a disappointing performance in a goalless draw against Buffaloes in this Castle Lager Premiership soccer match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The Green Machine missed a number of good chances and could have been punished by their former player Clive Kawinga whose 84th minute effort was aptly ruled out for off-side.
There was a certain air of expectation among the Green Machine family on Chitembwe’s homecoming match with CAPS United supporters saluting their returning son with a rousing welcoming before the start of the match.
But the side quickly faded and allowed the visitors to settle after missing an early chance when Dominic Chungwa squared the ball into the box which found no takers as Buffaloes made a frantic clearance.
Makepekepe were soon to fade into their usual self with lack of creativity in the middle of the park and poor finishing, a routine of what they have been used to this season.
Despite having an upper-hand over their opponents and getting better chances, they still could not deliver the killer punch with the few scoring opportunities they got.
Chungwa and his strike partner Leonard Tsipa frequently found themselves in good spaces but their finishing was terrible.
Chitembwe was clearly not happy with his team’s performance although he tried to be diplomatic after the match by showering praises on his charges, which they clearly did not deserve.
“I thought the guys applied themselves well. They showed terrific desire and that’s what we wanted. As for other technical shortcomings those, with time, can be dealt with,” said Chitembwe.
“The dominance we enjoyed was what we had expected although it wasn’t as complete as we wanted. But I thought they applied themselves quite well.
“In as far as finishing is concerned, I’m sure it’s a process. It’s something that we can obviously work on and hopefully we will improve with time.
“I don’t think it’s fair for me to pick on one particular individual when it was a collective team effort. I thought the guys did us proud. Unfortunately the goals did not come but with a little bit of time, as I said, the goals will come,” said Chitembwe.
Diminutive CAPS United winger Phineas Bamusi had a good game on the left flank against his former team but all his industry yielded nothing as he flighted in some good crosses that were not justly dealt with.
Tsipa had the best chance of the day soon after the restart but Buffaloes goalkeeper Chenge Tandadzani produced a brilliant double save when he made up for his spill from Moses Muchenje to deny the veteran forward from close range.
With about seven minutes of regulation remaining, Tsipa was at the end of another move when he controlled the ball well with his back to goal but he sent his effort wild into the air.
Second half substitute Tony Fugo joined in the misfiring when he shot weakly at goal in the 88th minute when he was teed up by Tsipa in a goalmouth melee.
Buffaloes coach Saul Chaminuka, a former CAPS United employee, was not in the mood to talk about the match but his assistant Joseph “Shabba” Takaringofa felt they were robbed because of the disallowed goal.
“We played very well and on a good day we could have won the game. (The disallowed goal) I don’t think was an off-side. We have been robbed and it now appears every time we play out there we are not always secure.
“One point is okay but when we deserve victory we should just win regardless of which team we are playing against. Fairness is important for the development of football,” said Takaringofa.
CAPS United remained seventh on the log standings with 31 points while Buffaloes should start to worry about relegation as they also remained rooted on 12th place.
CAPS United: J. Muchambo, H. Zvirekwi, J. Jangano, C. Munzabwa, S. Makatuka, D. Mukandi, M. Muchenje, P. Bamusi, G. Mangani (J. Ngodzo, 50th minute), D. Chungwa (Tony, 70th minute), L. Tsipa
Buffaloes: C. Tandadzani, P. Chandisaita, K. Mwaramba, K. Chigwida, V. Makuha, P. Matizanadzo (H. Madzivanyika, 61st minute), S. Nkata (J. Takunda, 71st minute), P. Thembani (B. Mushunje, 68th minute), F. Banda, L. Katongomara, C. Kawinga.