THEIR FINEST HOUR

Finest hourEddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter—
CAPS United…0

TP Mazembe…. 0
(1-1 on aggregate, CAPS United win the tie 2-1 on the away goals rule)

LLOYD Chitembwe yesterday described his team as the greatest CAPS United side ever after they rewrote the history books in style by eliminating continental heavyweights TP Mazembe and progressing to the group stages of the CAF Champions League for the first time in their history.

Watch video here…

For a side that had not been given a chance when the draw was conducted, Makepekepe accomplished a giant-killing act with a display rich in spirit in a goalless draw at the National Sports Stadium.

Abbas Amidu’s goal in the reverse leg, which ended 1-1 in the Democratic Republic of Congo last week, counted the most as it became crucial in dumping the five-time champions from the competition.

The wild celebrations as players, supporters and club officials came together summed up the significance of this feat at the end of the day.

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. - Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. – Picture by Wilson Kakurira

“Absolutely (this is the best CAPS United team). Results are there to prove that. There is no other CAPS United team that has matched or got anywhere near what these boys have achieved and so I think they deserve to be the greatest CAPS United team ever,” said Chitembwe.

“At the end of the day the players deserve special mention. They worked hard in training and the spirit within the group is out of this world. I just want to attribute our success to the spirit within the group.

“Everyone in the set-up works very hard towards achieving such kind of success. So I am very proud to be one of the organs within the CAPS United set-up.”

There was some style to CAPS United yesterday.

The Harare giants gave their players royal treatment by flying them in two helicopters to the giant stadium where they received to a raucous welcome from their fans who turned out in numbers despite the hike in gate charges to $5 for the cheapest ticket.

The huge number of supporters managed to dwarf TP Mazembe’s boisterous brass band that played on until the 90th minute.

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. - Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. – Picture by Wilson Kakurira

CAPS United defied the logic and stood toe-to-toe with their established opponents.

Goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda was up to the task with some crucial saves and with a bit of luck, he could have scored a brilliant goal past his opposite number Sylvain Gbohouo who did well to turn the ball around the post from one of his trademark free-kicks, with the ball hit with both power and precision.

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. - Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. – Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Makepekepe were a unit as they defended their territory with determination.

Moses Muchenje and Devon Chafa went about their duties with grit in midfield where they gave TP Mazembe skipper Rainford Kalaba and Miche Mika little room to make any destructive moves that usually give the Congolese giants the edge.

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. - Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. – Picture by Wilson Kakurira

CAPS United fringe player Valentine Musarurwa, who was playing his second successive game in place of injured Ronald Pfumbidzai, was also in the thick of things, slowing down Ghanaian Asante Solomon who looked dangerous on the wings.

The Ravens wanted a goal in the first half to unsettle the home team but they could not breach the Makepekepe defence.

But as time ticked on the pressure was building in the TP Mazembe camp and their coach Thierry Froger made three substitutions in the second half by bringing in attack-minded players Given Singuluma, Deo Kanda and Misheck Elia but they still could not breach the CAPS defence.

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. - Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. – Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Referee Bernard Camille of the Seychelles, who had been fingered in an intricate plot to help TP Mazembe qualify, was also under pressure to deliver a flawless display.

And, he did just that, refusing to be bullied by the visitors who are used to getting decisions in their favour.

Makepekepe continued with their imperial form at the National Sports Stadium where they haven’t lost a match, in regulation time, since Chitembwe’s arrival two years ago.

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. - Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. – Picture by Wilson Kakurira

“It’s down to belief. I’m sure the boys believed we are more formidable at the National Sports Stadium. I think it’s the environment that we are very familiar with. We are very comfortable to play at the National Sports Stadium.

“Let’s see how far we can go. Even last year just before the season started there were a lot of people who were sceptical about the spirit within the group and the quality that we have. I still want them to remain sceptical about our chances in the tournament.

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. - Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Scenes at the CAPS United ,TP Mazembe match at the National Sports Stadium. – Picture by Wilson Kakurira

“I’m sure if there is anything that has made us so strong and very formidable is the fact that we have equally good players in any part of the pitch.

“Imagine, for Valentine, this is probably his second biggest game and he performed the way he did. I’m sure it also gives the other player who was meant to play enough room to think about his game and that’s only good for the team,” said Chitembwe.

Froger said Makepekepe deserved the win.

The Frenchman hailed the Green Machine as a strong team.

“They have qualified and that means they are stronger than us,” said Froger.

The Frenchman, who is only a month into the job, will surely have his future tabled for discussion.

The Ravens captain Kalaba said they had only themselves to blame as they failed to take their chances.

“We had many chances in both games but we couldn’t score. TP Mazembe are a big team and they are not on a downfall. It’s unfortunate these things happen in football as you can see even in Europe some big teams fail to qualify.

Teams

CAPS Utd: E. Sibanda, H. Zvirekwi, V. Musarurwa, J. Jangano, D. Dauda, M. Muchenje, D. Chafa, P. Bamusi (K. Nyamupfukudza, 89th minute), T. Rusike (C. Munzabwa, 79th minute), A. Amidu (D. Chungwa, 53rd minute), S. Nhivi.

TP Mazembe: S. Gbohouo, D. Issama, S. Coulibaly, K. Mondeko, A. Zola, C. Kourame (G. Singuluma, 67th minute), M. Mika, R. Kalaba, A. Solomon (D. Kanda, 77th minute), B. Malango (M. Elia, 60th minute), A. Traore

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  • Allsmiles

    Well done Makepekepe you did us proud . Indeed we are a great nation counted among in the world. Hands up to Pfidza you did well to remove the despot Hiyatoya.! Now we start enjoying the beautiful game of football. No more match fixing

  • Kepekepe Bho

    ,makorokoto ku CAPS, but refurewo futi anenge kakuponesai. How can a player kick an opponent zviri clear kudaro and go unpunished.

  • lot chitakasha

    I raised it because Puncherello Chama’s post has created heated debate with others accusing him of misleading people while others insist that he is right. He has also stuck to his guns…most of the fans are Zambians so I thought Zim fans might help..not that there is anything wrong with Eddie’s report..just a debate.

  • lot chitakasha

    I enjoyed this analysis..maybe coach Chitembwe will pay heed, this reads like a very sober observation. I most cases when people win they bask in the glory and forget to do a root and branch analysis, I hope Caps will take time to reflect.

  • Munya Murombe

    I concur with you Lot…the best CAPS United side ever is an assessment left to the owners of the games…US the Supporters…and this is a debate which can go on and on until the cows home: In terms of the best performing CAPS United outfit this lot takes that honour by simply reaching the group stages…and that puts Lloyd Chitembwe top among the list of its most successful coaches.Chitembwe has also become cemented his position as the most successful individual with the brand CAPS United…i.e. his three league titles as a player then as a coach and reaching the group stages on the continental scene!…..the nearest challenger is only Leonard Tsipa! Hearty Congratulations to CAPS United as an entity!

  • Doc

    These caps united lads are very strong.This season i dont see any team local team that can stop this cyclone.Dzinochekwa vamwe ma neighbours edu i forsee disaster.

  • wezhira wezheve

    well done mates …..pambili nemuzhalo