Grace Chingoma Sports Reporter
CAPS United . . . . . (1) 3
Highlanders . . . . . (0) 1
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe has hailed his deputy Mark Mathe and credited him with yesterday’s victory over Highlanders, as the Green Machine cruised to their third Castle Lager Premiership victory at home since the season started. The emphatic win, also CAPS United biggest at the National Sports Stadium this year, sent their supporters into a frenzy.
Before yesterday’s victory, the Green Machine had last got a victory at the giant facility on July 5, when former striker Leonard Fiyado scored a double against Chicken Inn. Fiyado then left to join ZPC Kariba. Their first victory at home had come in the second week of the Premiership season when they beat FC Platinum 1-0 at the end of March with another departed player Ronald Pfumbidzai who is now playing in Denmark, scoring that all-important goal.
But on a week where the calls to ditch the luckless venue for a more compact Rufaro grew, CAPS United had other ideas as they humbled Highlanders in the Battle of Cities showdown, to make it two wins for Chitembwe who recently reunited with the team.
CAPS United were the first to get off the mark in the 36th minute when Phineas Bamusi, unmarked, took his time to pack a shot that beat Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda. However, the Bulawayo giants replied with a fine goal after the second half restart in the 52nd minute when chief striker Knox Mtizwa headed home from a delivery from Teenage Hadebe.
The header gave no chance to CAPS United goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo. The Highlanders striker, who was joint league goalscorer with Chicken Inn’s Edmore Chirambadare going into the weekend matches with 10 goals, extended his tally and kept alive his quest for the Premiership’s Golden Boot award.
But Mtizwa’s goal was just a consolation for Highlanders as CAPS United surged ahead again in the 63rd minute when veteran forward Leonard Tsipa finished off a pass from Dominic Mukandi.
The hosts then killed off the match as a contest, in the second minute of added time, when Equatorial Guinea Antonio Fugo with barely a minute on the pitch, showed some brilliance in a good move, where he calmed his nerves crossed to the right, where Dominic Chungwa simply finished off by tapping home. Chitembwe, attributed the victory to his assistant Mathe, who was with Highlanders last year and said he crafted the victory with his useful inside information on Bosso.
“We have had an excellent working relationship with Mark. Before I joined CAPS United I had doubts about his knowledge, but honestly speaking I think, especially in this game he deserves more than that, he did precisely what we expected of him, the information that he gave us worked for the team. “He did contribute in a big way,” Chitembwe said.
Chitembwe also felt his players had shown much more zeal from the onset and were hungrier than their counterparts who are singing the blues in the Premiership and are yet to win since they sacked Bongani Mafu.
“I thought tactical and technical application and the mental application helped us, we really hope we will improve from there. “We played collectively as a unit and showed much more desire than our opponents and I thought our guys did more,” said Chitembwe. The CAPS United coach also believes the big result will go a long way in motivating his players.
“This kind of result brings about confidence and I am sure the guys are more confident and now they believe they can win anywhere. “I think it is for the good of the team and it is not only about Lloyd, I have always said I think supporters deserve more, and I have always felt CAPS United is one team that not only has the potential but has the capability to win things and I am sure this is the step in the right direction,’” Chitembwe said.
Highlanders coach Amini Soma- Phiri said they had a good game and it was unfortunate that they lost. The former champions have lost 1-0 to Harare City and Flame Lily since a new technical team which has Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu as the technical advisor and Phiri as the coach were appointed.
“We need to work hard. We have been working hard all these days. We need to work hard and make sure that we don’t do all the silly mistakes that we did today. The defenders let us down. “We had a good game where we went for an early equaliser but the goals just couldn’t come. “It was better for us if we could have drawn with these guys but look what happened, you have to wait for 90 minutes and we could have defended till the match ended,” Phiri said.
CAPS United: J. Muchambo, H. Zvirekwi, J. Jangano, C. Munzambwa , S. Makatuka, D. Mukandi, M. Muchenje (D. Chungwa, 56th minute), J. Ngodzo (C. Machisi, 90th minute), B. Zvikomborero, L. Tsipa (A. Fugo, 89th minute).
Highlanders: A. Sibanda, P. Mudhuwe, B. Kangwa, F. Chindungwa, T. Hadebe, M. Maphosa(N. Masuku, 60th minute), S. Munawa, V. Ndaba (R. Kutsanzira, 75th minute), O. Tarumbwa (R. Matema, 65th minute), G. Nyoni, K. Mutizwa.