Sibanda propels CAPS to victory

HARARE - CAPS United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda produced a stunning save towards the end of the match that secured maximum points for the Green Machine against FC Platinum in a Castle Lager Premiership match yesterday.

With Makepekepe leading 2-1, FC Platinum substitute Hamadzashe Moyo thought he had equalised when he was teed up by veteran Mkhokheli Dube inside the box.

Moyo’s rising shot from five yards out was destined for the back of the net but Sibanda pulled off a miraculous diving save to tip over the ball for a corner.

The entire FC Platinum bench had got off their seats anticipating an equaliser but Sibanda’s big right hand somehow managed to get to the shot.

It was a match-winning save which meant that Makepekepe picked up their second win inside three matches and put a dent on the visitors’ title hopes.

Makepekepe moved out of the relegation zone to 14th place on the log with 21 points while Pure Platinum Play remain in fourth place with 39 points.

“If you believe, then you shouldn’t be shocked because miracles do happen,” Makepekepe assistant coach Mark Mathe said after the match to describe the save from Sibanda.

“He’s a very agile goalkeeper and we are happy he’s back in the park after his injury worries. It’s his duty to make such saves.”

The visitors were the first to settle after kick-off as they enjoyed a lot of possession in the middle of the park.

FC Platinum duly took the lead, albeit in controversial circumstances, after only five minutes when Charles Sibanda seemed to push Valentine Musarurwa to win possession.

With the Makepekepe players expecting a free kick, referee Ruzive Ruzive allowed play to go on.

The FC Platinum forward ran through on goal before chipping over the outdrawn Makepekepe goalkeeper.

Rallied by the sense of injustice, the Makepekepe players suddenly began to play with urgency and were now winning the 50/50 challenges in the middle of the park.

The home side finally broke the FC Platinum resistance via a set piece in the 20th minute when Dominic Chungwa headed a Hardlife Zvirekwi corner kick.

It was poor marking from the visitors as they allowed an unattended Chungwa to make a run towards the near post where he headed past goalkeeper Petros Mhari.

With the scores level, Makepekepe maintained the momentum as they kept the visitors’ defence on the back foot.

The defending champions finally took the lead in the 37th minute when the FC Platinum defence again switched off at a set piece.

Defender Stephen Makatuka was allowed another free header from close range following a Ronald Pfumbidzai corner kick to give his side the lead.

The lethargic defending at corners from a side chasing the title was a glaring defect shown by Norman Mapeza’s team which Makepekepe utilised with deadly accuracy.

The FC Platinum coach was devastated by his side’s lack of organisation at dead balls which might hamper their challenge for the title.

“I think our defending at set pieces wasn’t up to scratch. In the last games we have conceded, everything was happening at set pieces,” Mapeza said.

“The organisation and concentration wasn’t there. It’s a pity that we conceded from set pieces and we have to go back to the drawing board to rectify the problem.”     

Makepekepe also gave a league debut to their Nigerian forward Abasirim Chidiebere, who replaced Chungwa with 15 minutes to go.

Chidiebere almost scored on debut when his header from a Bamusi cross missed the target by a few inches.

An altercation between Makepekepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe and Pfumbidzai towards the end took some gloss off the win as it played out in front of everyone.

Pfumbidzai was not pleased when he was replaced by Cabby Kamhapa in added time.

The Makepekepe midfielder did not shake anyone’s hands on the bench and went straight to the changing room at the final whistle.

CAPS United: Edmore Sibanda, Valentine Musarurwa, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Stephen Makatuka, Carlton Munzabwa, Devon Chafa, Kudzai Nyamupfukudza (Moses Muchenje 46m), Phenias Bamusi, Ronald Pfumbidzai (Cabby Kamhapa 90m), John Zhuwawu, Dominic Chungwa (Abasirim Chidiebere 75m).

FC Platinum: Petros Mhari, Ian Nekati, Kelvin Moyo, Elvis Moyo (Hamadzashe Moyo 75m), Raphael Muduviwa, Winston Mhango (Takesure Chinyama 63m), Nqobizitha Masuku, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Ali Sadki, Mkhokheli Dube, Charles Sibanda (Marshal Mudehwe 46m).

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