CAPS rekindle title hope

HARARE - CAPS United capitalised on a nightmarish afternoon by Mutare City goalkeeper Victor Twaliki to record their biggest win (4-1) of the season and rekindle their Castle Lager Premiership title challenge.  

United scored through a double from veteran forward Leonard Tsipa, Tafadzwa Rusike, and Simba Nhivi to move within three points of log leaders FC Platinum, who drew 1-1 with Chicken Inn at Mandava Stadium yesterday.

Makepekepe, who had failed to win in their last three outings, are now on 40 points from 21 matches while the platinum miners are on 43.

CAPS coach Lloyd Chitembwe was pleased with the result since his side had only scored one goal in three matches.   

“I’m happy with the way we played today (yesterday). It’s been a while since we scored more than two goals and for us to score four goals today; I’m happy for the boys,” Chitembwe said.

“It’s important to pick up points at every point of the season. This is the most important stage of the season; it is the defining stage of the season and I’m happy we have managed to pick up points.”

Chitembwe selected an attacking line up for yesterday’s match against a Rovers side that had been unbeaten in their last five matches.

In midfield, there was Tafadzwa Rusike, Phineas Bamusi, Abbas Amidu, Josta Ngodzo and Devon Chafa while Leonard Tsipa was the lone striker.

It was no surprise when the home side took the lead in the ninth minute after Bamusi made his way into the box from the left side.

Instead of going for glory, Bamusi laid off a seater for Rusike who side-footed into the roof of Twaliki’s net from close range.

The home side’s rhythm was however, disrupted following an ankle injury to Amidu, who was replaced by Nhivi in the 21st minute.

Eight minutes later, CAPS lost a second player to injury when goal scorer Rusike pulled a muscle and had to be replaced by captain Moses Muchenje.

From there on, the match was a bit lethargic as United tried to regain their gear following the change personnel while Rovers were content on sitting back.

Twaliki then made his first costly blunder two minutes before the break when he spilled back into play a low shot from Ngodzo.

Tsipa showed his predatory instincts to prod home the rebound with the Rovers defence reacting slowly to bail out their keeper.

In the second period, Makepekepe stepped off the gas and they were made to pay by the visitors after a weak back header to goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda by defender Stephen Makatuka.

Rovers forward Agrippa Murimba reached the ball before rounding off Sibanda to tap into an empty net in the 63rd minute.

However, Rovers chances of a comeback were quickly washed away two minutes later when Twaliki was caught off his line by Ngodzo’s chip from outside the box.

The ball hit the underside of the crossbar then the goal line and back into play while referee Norman Matendera and his nearside assistant did not signal for a goal.

For an unknown reason, the former Makepekepe goalkeeper parried the ball into Tsipa’s feet and the Makepekepe forward scored with a low shot.

The gifts from Twaliki kept on coming and four minutes from the end, the Rovers keeper spilled a harmless free kick taken by Ronald Pfumbidzai.

Nhivi was on hand for another easy tap in prompting the Makepekepe fans to begin chanting the name of their former goalkeeper.    

Rovers coach Taku Shariwa was disappointed with his number 1’s performance.

“We have not been conceding many such goals recently and these were silly goals to concede for such an experienced goalkeeper,” Shariwa said.

“Unfortunately, such things happen in football; that’s why it’s called the world’s most beautiful game.”

Rovers, who had three points deducted on Friday for fielding a suspended player, remain in danger of being relegated as they are in 14th place on the log with 16 points.

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