Chitembwe banks on defence

HARARE - CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is convinced his side’s defence will be key in their title defence quest during the 2017 Castle Lager Premiership season.

On their way to winning the championship last season, Makepekepe conceded 21 goals in 30 matches with only FC Platinum (15) and Chicken Inn (20) conceding fewer.

After only two games this season, the Makepekepe backline started with a clean sheet in the goalless draw away against Shabanie Mine two weeks ago.

At the weekend, United got their first victory of the campaign but they could not keep a clean sheet as they beat Harare City 2-1 at the National Sports Stadium.

Chitembwe was not really pleased with how his side had organised themselves allowing the Sunshine Boys’ Jerry Chipangura to equalise with a shot that took a deflection off Dennis Dauda.

“Each time you concede a goal, there is something very wrong that would have happened but at the end of the day I’m happy because we only conceded one goal,” Chitembwe said.

“I’m sure in the last five games we have played; we have conceded only one goal which is remarkable.”  

However, as the old adage goes, strikers win you matches but defences win you titles; Chitembwe is convinced they are on the right track.

“Mark my words; by the end of this season, this team would have conceded the least number of goals. Remind me when the season is over,” Chitembwe boldly declared.

Makepekepe lost centre back Stephen Makatuka, who signed for South African First Division side AmaZulu, but his absence has not been felt.

Dennis Dauda and Justice Jangano have formed a solid central defensive partnership while Hardlife Zvirekwi and Ronald Pfumbidzai have been strong on the wings.

Another aspect of the team which has pleased Chitembwe is the fact they have continued with their good showing at home.

United went the whole of 2016 without a defeat at the National Sports Stadium in the league with the only bleep coming in the Chibuku Super Cup defeat to Tsholotsho.

“It’s good to continue with good work but obviously, the challenge is still huge because we still have more than 15 games to play at home,” Chitembwe said.

“That’s going to be our biggest challenge to continue wanting to win at home and it’s never going to be easy.”

Next up for Makepekepe is a visit to ZPC Kariba on Good Friday and Chitembwe is expecting another tough encounter against Sunday Chidzambwa’s side.

“For us it is important for us to go out there and win matches. The ZPC match is no exception and we want to go there and try and get a win,” he said.

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