Quelaton dent CAPS revival

BULAWAYO - Resurgent Caps United’s revival efforts suffered a setback when they were held to a draw by bottom-placed Quelaton in an entertaining Castle Premiership encounter yesterday.

The Harare giants had prior to this game gone on a three-match winning streak but a missed penalty and some heroics by Quelaton keeper Winston Chiwetu saw them failing to notch a fourth win on the trot.

CAPS head coach Taurai Mangwiro expressed his disappointment at having dropped points against “Kwela Kwela.”

“We consider this as two points dropped rather than a point gained but we will regroup and try and win our remaining fixtures so that our fate is in our own hands.”

Basement side Quelaton’s performance belied their status as the top flight league anchors with some enterprising football that saw them create a number of chances in the first quarter of the match.

Eddie Nkhulungo shot wide on four minutes after he went on a mazy run and a minute later the slippery midfielder centered for Simba Manwere, who failed to control and allowed the CAPS defence to recover and clear the danger.

Another chance fell for Kwela Kwela holding midfielder Gracious Mleya who headed wide a long throw in from Wilberforce Chiramba on 10 minutes.

CAPS linkman Hardlife Zvirekwi then took over the show and his runs from the midfield turned the tide in CAPS’ favour.

This resulted in the visitors being awarded a penalty on 22 minutes after Quelaton defender Peace Tshuma was punished for bringing down Leonard Fiyado in the penalty box by Kwekwe referee Munyaradzi Majoni.

Bulawayo native Rahman Kutsanzira stepped up to take the spot kick and his effort was saved in an unorthodox fashion by Chiwetu, who dived the wrong way but managed to lash out at the ball with his trailing left leg to concede a corner kick.

The visitors were left to regret this miss a few minutes later when Manwere headed home a free kick taken by Quelaton right-back Marshall Machazane on 25 minutes.

Quelaton’s lead was short-lived however, as bustling CAPS striker Nqobile Mpala levelled matters two minutes later. Fiyado provided the assist for Mpala when he roasted Machazane on the left flank before cutting inside and setting up the former Highlanders and Pretoria University striker, who rifled past Chiwetu for the equaliser.

Mpala thought he had grabbed a brace on 31 minutes but his effort was ruled out for offside by far side assistant referee Rudo Nhananga.

The second half began with CAPS attacking straight from the restart but the move failed to bear fruit after Fiyado failed to connect to a Zvirekwi cross and Kutsanzira directed the follow up effort wide.

CAPS rung the changes as the second half progressed with Charles Chiutsa, David Rediyoni and Shingai Kawondera replacing Pride Tafirenyika, Kutsanzira and Mpala but still the winner did not materialise.

Quelaton responded by introducing Zibusiso Dambo for Mhleli Sibanda who was playing to the gallery on 71 minutes.

The home side’s Timothy January then shot over on 73 minutes after dribbling past CAPS defender Tawanda Munyanduri and going for goal when everyone expected him to cross the ball.

Quelaton skipper Zibusiso Sibanda maintained the status quo with a goal line clearance on 76 minutes to keep out a Chiutsa header following a Rediyoni free kick from outside the box.

Chiwetu then came up with the save of the day with five minutes remaining when he saved from Fiyado at point blank range.

An attempted clearance by Chiramba who was under pressure from Kawondera fell for the former Gunners striker who gleefully shot at goal but found the Quelaton keeper properly positioned.

After the match, Quelaton coach Farai Sibanda said his side will fight until the last game of the season.
“We did everything right today but failed to pick up maximum points but we are not throwing in the towel and will continue to fight to the end,” Sibanda said.

Meanwhile, Buffaloes were held to a one all draw by Bulawayo side Chicken Inn at Sakubva Stadium yesterday.

Buffaloes goalkeeper Tapiwa Mafunga scored from the penalty spot in the first half while Guide Goddard equalised in the second period. - Sakheleni Nxumalo

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