Defence worries for CAPS

HARARE - CAPS United are facing a defensive crisis ahead of Sunday’s Harare derby against rivals Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium.

Already without the suspended Stephen Makatuka, who picked up three yellow cards, Makepekepe coach Taurai Mangwiro is now sweating on the fitness of skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani, who is struggling with a knock.

Kumbuyani missed United’s last two training sessions this week and is also joined by David Chipala, who has been partnering Makatuka at the heart of defence thus far this season.

Chipala came off with a knee ailment in the 1-0 defeat to Dynamos last weekend in the One Wallet Cup quarter-final tie, and has since been ruled out for three weeks.

The club seemed cursed with defensive injuries as Zambian defender Modaliso Mwanza has also been ruled out with an injury and Mangwiro could be forced to start with Dominic Mukandi and George Nyirenda, who made his debut last weekend against DeMbare at the heart of defence.

It is the pairing of Makatuka and Chipala that is likely to leave CAPS United vulnerable at the back, but midfielder Hardlife Zvirekwi is not losing sleep over that.

“Expectations are high especially that it’s a derby. We can’t afford to lose this time around. We will have to do what it takes to ensure we win,” Zvirekwi told the Daily News yesterday.

“I think we have large pool of players where coaches can pick from. At CAPS United we play as a team. We fight for each other and whoever will be picked will put 100 percent. 

“This is a league match and we have the same number of points on the log table, so if we can win this one it will be an added advantage. We might have been failing to beat them previously but this a different ball game all together.

“Every match is different and we are looking forward to good game. We have to push harder on Sunday. We only need to adopt the right attitude and we can make it.

“In the previous matches, it’s not we have been playing badly. Our biggest let done is finishing and we need to make use of our chances. It’s not that Dynamos are invincible.”

Despite failing to beat Dynamos since 2009 in a competitive match, Zvirekwi feels records are meant to be broken and has rallied United’s fans to come in numbers and cheer the team.

“We don’t need to lose hope. We should use this opportunity to do better from our previous mistakes. Our fans should come and rally behind the boys. We should not lose hope.

“We are also playing putting the eye on the championship. It has been a long since we lay our hands on silverware and this year I think we have a good chance to end that barren spell.”

CAPS United will be banking on Malawi sensation Gerald Phiri, who scored a sublime free kick in the reverse fixture two weeks ago in a 1-1 draw and highly rated midfielder Kelvin Bulaji, who were part of the team that went through their paces the National Sports yesterday morning.

This weekend’s match will be the third straight clash between the two Harare giants inside three weeks after they met in the league prior to that cup clash last weekend.

The first league meeting between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw at the same venue two weeks ago.

The last time the Green Machine beat DeMbare in the league was way back in 2009 when Nyasha Mushekwi struck a memorable brace before his move to Mamelodi Sundowns the following season.

But Makepekepe, appear more determined to stop the tide this season, judging by the mood from their camp.

Comments (1)

CAPS beat dembare this season in a cup game. had dembare won that game will u still be saying it was not competitive. the truth is caps last beat dembare in a league game in 2009 but they beat dembare this year in a cup game. so overally caps did not last beat dembare in 2009

dibango - 25 July 2014

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