CAPS invade Mandava Stadium

HARARE - Having extinguished the fires of other Castle Lager Premiership title contenders in recent weeks, CAPS United have now turned their attention to FC Platinum.

The Green Machine, who have already beat log leaders Dynamos, second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars, on Wednesday night derailed Chicken Inn’s title charge with a 1-0 win at the National Sports Stadium.

This afternoon, Lloyd Chitembwe and his side who have turned out to be the party spoilers in this intriguing title race, travel to Mandava Stadium to face FC Platinum.

Makepekepe will also take confidence from the fact they beat the platinum miners 2-1 at Rufaro Stadium when the two sides met last month.

In the 13 previous meetings between the two, CAPS also enjoy a healthier head-to-head record with five wins, seven draws and a single defeat.        

Having failed to beat relegation-threatened Yadah FC following a goalless draw in midweek, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has every reason to be concerned with CAPS’ visit this afternoon.

“It’s definitely going to be a difficult game, in fact all our remaining matches are going to be difficult,” Mapeza told the Daily News yesterday.

“You look at CAPS United they are currently playing well and have picked up some important wins in their recent matches and I’m sure they would want to maintain that form. So yes, we are not expecting an easy match, it’s really going to be tough.”

Mapeza is praying he will find a hero especially in front of goal at this crucial stage of the season to power his side to the Promised Land.

Against Yadah, Pure Platinum Play completely dominated both in terms of possession and chances created but they still could not find the back of the net.

And with eight matches left before the season ends, Mapeza knows they cannot afford to keep on dropping points if they entertain any hopes of lifting their first ever championship.

The Zvishavane-based side go into today’s match third on the log table with 52 points and currently trail leaders Dynamos by a single point with eight games to go.

“If you look in our previous matches, we are playing well and being let down by poor finishing,” Mapeza said.

“I’m hoping we will be able to rectify that starting with this game against CAPS United. We need to be more aggressive in front of goal.

“That way we can think of winning the championship. Otherwise we are ready for the game and we are really focused to get a positive result.”

CAPS are obviously moving with a spring in their step following a run of four straight wins which took them to fifth place on the log table with 41 points having played 25 matches.

The Green Machine will be eager to make it five wins on the trot and possibly launch a late charge to defend their title.

Should CAPS beat FC Platinum this afternoon they would have gate crashed into the title race as they still have a game in hand.

Makepekepe assistant coach Tostao Kwashi said they are taking it one game at a time.

“We want to take it one step at a time and go up the ladder. We do not want to get too ahead of ourselves,” Kwashi said following their win over Chicken Inn.

“We don’t want to be big headed or act like amateurs. We are professionals and we keep on working hard.

“Yes, we are the defending champions but the important thing for us right now is to collect maximum points without looking at what happens elsewhere.”

Today

Black Rhinos v How Mine (Rufaro), FC Platinum v CAPS United (Mandava), Ngezi Platinum v Tsholotsho (Baobab)

Tomorrow

Hwange v Bulawayo City (Colliery), Chapungu v ZPC Kariba (Ascot), Triangle v Yadah FC (Gibbo), Dynamos v Harare City (National Sports Stadium), Chicken Inn v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Bantu Rovers v Shabanie Mine (Luveve).

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