CAPS, Platinum fire early shots

HARARE - Two clubs, CAPS United and FC Platinum, fired the biggest warning shots of their intentions of winning the Chibuku Super Cup after the first round action this weekend.

The Green Machine, who are hoping to regain their status as Cup Kings in Zimbabwean football, got the ball rolling on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over Chapungu at Rufaro Stadium.

Goals from fullback Ronald Pfumbidzayi, midfielder Nicholas Alifandika and striker Honey Chimutimunzeve ensured the Green Machine reached the quarter-final stage.

After that impressive win, CAPS coach Taurai Mangwiro was pleased with his team’s performance and feels they can reach far in this competition.

“We want our team to do well both in the league and cup games. Although it will not be easy, but with today’s performance, I think we are on the right track to achieve what we want,” said Mangwiro.

“We hope we will remain formidable at home and it will give us much needed momentum going into our next league match against Shabanie.

“We would want to bring back the good old days at CAPS and with what I have seen today we are on the right direction.”

Also on Saturday, new FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza began his reign at the Zvishavane-based side with a 3-0 win over Bantu Rovers at Mandava Stadium.

The former Zimbabwe captain and coach was appointed at Mandava earlier this month to take over from Lloyd Mutasa, who resigned after a string of poor results.

The platinum miners had a slow start before they eventually found the opener when fullback Qadr Amin scored from the spot two minutes after the half time break.

Mapeza’s men profited from a handball by veteran Rovers defender Herbert Dick inside the box.

Ashley Mukwenya added the second shortly before defender Aaron Katebe completed the rout in added time.

The men from Zvishavane have always been an ambitious club, but are yet to win major silverware since their promotion into the top fight in 2011.

With Mapeza, who won the title with Monomotapa back in 2008, now in charge of the club, there is a lot of optimism in Zvishavane.

“It’s a good start for me and I’m very pleased with that. I would want to thank the local community for the warm welcome. The boys were also awesome they showed so much confidence,” said Mapeza after the Rovers win.

Bulawayo giants Highlanders also sealed their passage into the quarter-finals following a slender 1-0 win over Shabanie Mine at Ascot Stadium in Gweru on Sunday.

New signing Pasca Manhanga scored the only goal of the match for Bosso with a delightful finish in the first half.

Although they have been struggling in recent weeks, Highlanders will go into the last eight draw as one of the favourites to win the tournament.

“I’m very happy because this win brings back the confidence. We had gone on a number of matches without scoring but today we managed to score and defend our lead. We want to go far in this tournament,” said Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu after match.

At Gwanzura Stadium on Sunday, Black Rhinos sealed their place in the last eight of the competition with a 1-0 win over troubled Harare giants Dynamos.

Stephen Matsangaise scored eight minutes from time when he deflected Nesbert Padzarondora’s shot past DeMbare keeper Artwell Mukandi.

The match was marred by red cards to Dynamos’ Rodrick Mutuma and Obey Gada of Rhinos towards the end.

Chauya Chipembere coach Jostein Mathuthu was also sent to the stands after he entered the pitch in the ensuing scuffles.

Despite not training for the past week due to industrial action by players, Dynamos were actually the better side and should have so easily won the game.

Rhinos only survived due to a combination of poor finishing from Mutuma and some good goalkeeping by Samuel Mafukidze.

The other teams that booked their quarter-final berths this weekend are How Mine, Triangle, Harare City and Chiredzi FC.

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