Acid test for CAPS United

HARARE - Log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars have set their sights on getting back to winning ways in today’s midweek clash against CAPS United at Baobab Stadium.

The platinum miners surrendered their 100 percent start to the 2017 Castle Lager Premiership season last Saturday when they lost 1-0 to newboys Yadah FC at the National Sports Stadium.

Although Madamburo lost their first game of the season, they still top the log standings with nine points from four games, while Yadah are in second place with eight.

Third-placed FC Platinum, could have dislodged Ngezi from the summit, but dropped two crucial points when they played out to a 1-1 draw away to Bulawayo City on Saturday.

Ngezi coach Tonderai Ndiraya was so bowled over by his players’ poor performance against Yadah which he said was probably the team’s “poorest” game so far.

Today, they are at home against a CAPS side that has had a stuttering start to the defence of their title.

Makepekepe have only won once in three matches while drawing the other two matches to leave Lloyd Chitembwe’s side in eighth place with five points.

“We are now looking forward to our next match against CAPS United at home which is going to be a very difficult encounter,” Ndiraya said.

“We just have to be strong and try to get a result against the league champions. It’s not going to be easy but that is part of the game; we have to soldier on.

“We need to pull our socks and work on the mental side of the game and I’m afraid there is not much time left before our next game with CAPS United. We need to make sure we get a result in the home match against CAPS United.”

Having picked up three consecutive wins over Black Rhinos, Hwange and How Mine, Ndiraya was disappointed with how his side failed to break the Yadah defence.

“I’m really disappointed with the way we conducted ourselves. I think to be quite honest with you; this is probably one of our poorest games we have played,” he said.

“We were keeping the ball quite well but we were not quick enough; we weren’t moving the ball as fast as we would have wanted.

“We got some chances but we either shot weakly at Tafadzwa Dube or could not hit the target so, with the little time we have before the CAPS game, we need to be working on that.

“We need to try and sharpen our strike force and certainly add some energy into the team. We were very slow and weak against Yadah and the mental side of the game was not quite good.”

CAPS are also struggling to find their feet with the defending champions having only found the back of the net three times in the three matches they have played so far. 

Makepekepe began the season with a goalless draw against Shabanie Mine, before defeating Harare City 2-1.

At the weekend, the Green Machine had to come from behind as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Tsholotsho.

Defender Ronald Pfumbidzai has two goals for United, while midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike has netted the other.

Chitembwe, however, is not concerned by his strikers’ lack of goals.

“Our conversion was not as good as the chances we created. I am satisfied with the fact that we were in control of the game and the result is not a true reflection of the game,” he said after the draw with Tsholotsho.

“They had only one opportunity and they capitalised but such is football. You can’t judge the strength and weaknesses of a team based on a few games, I think you can only do that after a substantial number of matches.

“And as far as I am concerned, we are on track to achieve the things that we have set ourselves to achieve.”

PSL Fixtures

Tomorrow

Harare City v Bulawayo City (NSS), Ngezi Platinum v CAPS United (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie Mine (Nyamhunga), Tsholotsho v Highlanders (Dulivhadzimu), FC Platinum v Triangle (Maglas), Chapungu v Yadah FC (Ascot), Bantu Rovers v Hwange (Luveve)

Thursday

Chicken Inn v Black Rhinos (Luveve), Dynamos v How Mine (NSS)

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