From Ricky Zililo in BULAWAYO
THE adage “experience is the best teacher” aptly describes CAPS United’s victory over Highlanders as two of their seasoned strikers Roderick Mutuma and Leonard Tsipa immaculately combined to knock Bosso out of the Bob 91 Super Cup and set a date with bitter rivals Dynamos in the final.
Mutuma, who sensationally crossed the capital great divide joining the Green Machine from DeMbare last month, yesterday proved to be the phantom driving CAPS United after finding the opener for his team a minute before half-time at Barbourfields Stadium.
Tsipa, a 36th minute substitute for an ineffective Kudzai Nyamufukudza, sold a dummy to Bosso’s centre back Douglas Sibanda, with Mutuma doing well to shield the ball from Teenage Hadebe and Honest Moyo before slotting past an advancing Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.
The goal silenced Bosso supporters whose team had dominated play for the opening 30 minutes to hand control of the game to the visitors.
Highlanders had from the first whistle looked compact at the back with Douglas and Hadebe bottling Mutuma while Tendai Ngulube and Nqobizitha Masuku were firmly in control in the midfield where they won most of the duels.
Highlanders’ best chance in the first stanza fell to Gabriel Nyoni who got to the end of a sumptuous pass by Masuku in the 19th minute but the striker failed to beat goalkeeper Victor Twaliki with a bender.
Five minutes later, Nyoni embarked on a solo leaving three Makepekepe players for dead on the left side but Stephen Makatuka recovered well to head way the striker’s goal bound shot.
Sensing danger, the Green Machine coach Mark Harrison made a tactical change just after the hour mark bringing in Tsipa, a move that changed the complexion of their game as Mutuma dropped from being an outright striker to a decoy.
The former Dynamos forward dropped to fetch the ball from midfield and with a free role, Mutuma proved handful for Highlanders.
As fate would have it, the Green Machine built their attack from the left side where Moses Muchenje threaded a pass in the box which had been meant for Tsipa but the latter sold a dummy and the ball landed on Mutuma who coolly slotted home.
CAPS United returned from the breather still a more determined side than Bosso and doubled their lead through Takudzwa Mahori whose grounder to the far post beat a diving Ariel.
Highlanders tried to fight back but found the visitors watertight at the back.
A blunder by Twaliki in the 71st minute allowed Obadiah Tarumbwa to get a consolation goal for Highlanders.
“I was concerned with the safety of my players after that goal. However, I must commend my players for a good and disciplined display because Highlanders were better than us in the first 30 minutes but we held on.
“After that we controlled proceedings and I feel we deserved to victory,” said Harrison.
“We have to devise means of turning dominance into goals. Even when we enjoyed possession, we only had two attempts at goal which is not good at all,” said Mafu.