Relief for Chitembwe as CAPS go top

HARARE - CAPS United shot back to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership log following yesterday’s victory over struggling Tsholotsho yesterday and eased pressure on coach Lloyd Chitembwe.

At least Chitembwe can sleep easily following a polished first half display from his side that produced two goals from veteran forward Leonard Tsipa and captain Moses Muchenje.

Makepekepe, who had failed to win in their last two league matches, are now on 29 points from 14 matches while FC Platinum dropped to second place on 27 points following their 2-1 defeat to Hwange yesterday.

Third-placed Highlanders, who are on 26 points, can go top if they beat Mutare City Rovers at Sakubva Stadium this afternoon.

The Makepekepe fans had given Chitembwe a lot of stick following those two draws against Hwange and FC Platinum with the coach contemplating throwing in the towel.

However, the Makepekepe could at least afford a smile as his side was able to hold on to their lead to get their title challenge on track again.

The Green Machine started yesterday’s match on a good note when their early pressure on the Tsholotsho goal yielded a penalty only in the third minute.

Centre back Thandolwenkosi Ncube was penalised for blocking Tsipa’s header in the box with his hand prompting referee Ruvize Ruzive to point to the spot.

The veteran forward kept his cool to slot his spot kick beyond the reach of the diving visitors’ goalkeeper Nickel Marichi.

The home side continued to press forward and scored their second goal through Muchenje in the 34th minute.

Simba Nhivi did well to cushion with his chest a cross from Tafadzwa Rusike from the left and the ball fell kindly to Muchenje, who had ran beyond the Tsholotsho defence.

The Makepekepe skipper hit the roof of the net with a half volley from close range that gave Marichi no chance.

In the second period, Tsholotsho were the better side after the triple substitution that saw Collins Dhuwa, Ayanda Ncube and Nicholas Mundandishe coming in for Rodrick Mufudza, Ocient Ncube and Bruno Madanhire.

The visitors were however, thwarted by Makepekepe goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, who had a memorable returning to the side.

Makepekepe assistant coach Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi was pleased with side’s return to winning ways following the disappointment in the last two rounds.

“In the first half; we gave a good performance as we created a lot of chances and played some good football,” he said.

“In the second, Tsholotsho came to the party as well; we have to give credit to them. They played good football but generally we deserved to win.

“Everybody likes winning and football is all about winning. We are glad to be back to the winning ways.”

Tsholotsho team manager Xolani Mafikela blamed the defeat on his side poor start.

“I think it was a matter of starting late; when you play against an experienced side like CAPS United chances of you coming back after starting badly are very slim,” Mafikela said.

“We are not happy with where the team is; that’s a fact but with the players we have, it’s only a matter of time before we start scoring. We are creating chances but we are not scoring.”

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