CAPS out to halt Ngezi title surge

HARARE - CAPS United are planning to halt Ngezi Platinum Stars’ march towards the Castle Lager Premiership title when the two teams clash tomorrow at Rufaro Stadium.

The defending champions have had an indifferent league campaign after their participation in the Africa Champions League left them lagging behind with five games in hand.

Results have also been hard to come by for the Green Machine, leaving them lurking in the relegation zone but after picking up seven points from a possible nine in their last three league matches, belief is back in the Harare giants’ camp.

The Green Machine assistant coach Tostao Kwashi said they are looking to build on that recent good run as they prepare to host the on-fire log leaders Ngezi, who have won four of their last five matches.

On Wednesday, Makepekepe put in a wonderful performance to beat title-chasing FC Platinum 2-1 at Rufaro. 

“It’s always good to win matches as it brings confidence and lifts morale of the players. And we are looking forward to build on that impressive win,” Kwashi said.

“But most importantly we are not getting carried away by that result because it’s another big battle against Ngezi.

“They (Ngezi) have been doing really well lately; so far they are sitting at the top of the table. They are a good side and we are expecting a gruesome battle.

“For us I think it’s a good challenge, we love challenges, we have been overcoming a lot of challenges in the past months.

“We have played big games; bigger than this one. We respect Ngezi, it’s going to be a tough game but we are up for it and we are looking forward to a good game, we are upbeat.”

Kwashi said they have a lot of respect for Ngezi and their coach Tonderai Ndiraya.

“We are expecting a difficult game against Ngezi Platinum Stars, who have a very good coach in...Ndiraya,” he said.

“There are no more easy games now especially in this second round of the season as everybody is playing for something.

“Others are playing to avoid relegation; others are playing for the title while others want to maintain their status in the league so there is a lot of difficult football to play.

“We have five matches in hand yes, but we are not looking at it that way, to us we have 19 league games that are left.”

Tomorrow’s match is going to be the last for Ronald Pfumbidzai in the Green Machine’s colours as he looks set to seal his switch to South African side Bloemfontein Celtic. 

Kwashi paid tribute to the departing Pfumbidzai as he embarks on a new journey with Phunya Sele Sele.

“He (Pfumbidzai) was a very big player for us. He has been scoring goals for us in both the Champions League and on the domestic front,” Kwashi said.

“I think he has six or seven goals and I have heard people talk about  him being Player of the Year so far and I also think Pfumbidzai should be up there as well.

“I heard people talk about Ocean Mushure but Pfumbidzai has been brilliant as well not only in the local league but in the Champions League which is the highest level of African football which is why these people at Celtic are buying him.

“So it’s a sad loss for us. He would have been a contender for that Player of the Year award if he had stayed for some few more matches. He has been helping us a lot and it’s going to be a huge blow to us.

“He was a motivator and don’t worry about what happened against FC Platinum, it was just passion, drive because he wants to win for his team and we want also to win so it’s just that everyone was just fired up for the game.

“But it’s water under the bridge now and he is looking forward to his last game against Ngezi Platinum Stars.

“But he has been a great player for us and we will miss him a lot and we wish him the very best to even go further and make it in Europe again because that’s where he belongs.”

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