CAPS on right track: Chitembwe

HARARE - CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe was impressed with his side’s commitment to their pre-season after their 2-0 victory over Mozambican champions Ferreviaro de Beira on Sunday.

This was Makepekepe’s first match of the year after starting their pre-season training two weeks ago.

The two teams were using yesterday’s match as part of their preparations for next month’s African Champions League preliminary qualifiers.

Goals from Abbas Amidu and Amon Kambanje carried the day for the Zimbabwean champions but ultimately for Chitembwe, it was not about the result but the way his side carried themselves throughout the 90 minutes.

“For now I’m not really looking at the performance; first things first, I was looking for the conditioning aspect and the endurance aspect is there but the element of speed is not yet there,” he said.

“Speed of thought, speed of reaction and as well as speed of execution is not yet there but generally, I have been impressed by the desire and the commitment these boys have shown.”

“Training is very important and every training session means a lot to the teams and today I’m quite happy with the application of the boys.”

Chitembwe started the game with relatively a strong side before he gave new signings Ronald midfielder Chitiyo and defender Last Sithole their debuts for the champions. Chitiyo joined Makepekepe from Harare City while Sithole arrived from FC Platinum.

Chitiyo was instrumental in the second goal when he played in a delightful through ball to release Kambanje.

“I can’t really say much on the new players because we know what they are capable of doing. They are just doing what they are supposed to be doing and on that not I have been very impressed,” Chitembwe said regarding the two debutants.

Ferroviaro goalkeeper and captain Willard Manyatera also praised the level of play displayed by the Zimbabwean champions.

“We started the game well but we fell short because there is a big difference between the quality of players you find here in Zimbabwe and those from Mozambique,” the former Dynamos goalkeeper said.

“Zimbabwe is blessed with naturally gifted players and today you could see the CAPS players were on a different level.”

The Zimbabwean goalkeeper, who won the champions with DeMbare in 2007, is confident Makepekepe can reach the knockout stages of the African Champions League.

CAPS take on Lesotho side Lioli FC in the preliminary round and will meet Democratic Republic of Congo side TP Mazembe if they qualify for the first round.

“CAPS are a good side and today they showed why they won the championship last season. I’m sure in the Champions League they will go further than what many people expect.”

On his side’s expectations in the same competition Manyatera said: “We are also preparing well for the Champions League and I do believe we will do well. This friendly match has also helped us a lot because of the quality of opposition we faced.”        

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