Gamecocks rub salt into CAPS United’s wounds Lloyd Chitembwe

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

CAPS Utd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . .   0

Chicken Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1

CHICKEN Inn handed troubled Harare giants CAPS United their fourth defeat on the trot at the National Sports Stadium yesterday as the Gamecocks climbed back to the top of the table and regained control of the Castle Lager Premiership football championship race.

Midfielder Brett Amidu scored the only goal of the match.

The Green Machine, who are still trying to recover from the in-house problems that resulted in three players being fired this month, had put up a solid fight yesterday but they cracked soon after the restart when Amidu found space just inside the box and fired a low shot that beat goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi.

Makepekepe never recovered from the blow despite the energy exuded by their players yesterday. It was a disappointing ending for CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe who felt his side deserved something from the match for their efforts.

But for his opposite number, Joey ‘’Mafero’’ Antipas, the result was sweet music to the ear as the Gamecocks recovered from the dent they suffered in the last two games when they drew against Highlanders and Herentals.

The Gamecocks had a satisfying trip back home after they dislodged giants Dynamos who had ruled the roost for the past month.

“First of all it was good to get the three points against a spirited CAPS side although they’re having issues but they still put up a good performance,” said Chicken Inn coach Antipas.

“I thought it was a bit nervy in the end but we managed to hold on for this victory.

“In the second half, after we had scored our goal, I thought we managed the game quite well. We managed to create a couple chances. We didn’t put them away, but that’s the nature of the game.

“I thought we did well defensively, we were solid at the back and also in midfield. We struggled on our precision because we had some good breaks in the counter-attacks but we gave the ball unnecessarily.

“But all in all, I’m happy with the three points and we will just prepare for our next game against Yadah. We’ve been going through quite a rough patch. In the last four games, we had picked one win, three draws and a loss. So it’s good to be back on the winning track,” said Antipas.

Chicken Inn are now sitting on 31 points, one ahead of DeMbare who had their game against Highlanders marred by crowd trouble at Barbourfields yesterday after they had conceded a goal in the extra time.

The Gamecocks gave Makepekepe a good run yesterday after the Green Machine turned up with a changed side which featured Marshal Machazane, Kelvin Bulaji and Tichaona Macheka as the three centrebacks.

Goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi was also given a starting place in goals, ahead of Tonderai Mateyaunga, who had a terrible outing in the 0-3 defeat to FC Platinum last week.

As the game swung from one end to the other, Machazane was lucky to escape with a yellow card after he hacked down goal-bound forward Malvin Whata after 18 minutes.

Then Ian Nyoni scooped Whata’s header from the line following a corner kick soon after the incident. Chicken Inn’s top goal scorer Brian Muza could have hit double digits but he failed to connect after Xolani Ndlovu had sent in a low cross into the box just before the half-hour mark.

Muza and CAPS United’s William Manondo lead the Premiership goal-scoring charts with nine goals apiece. Muza had another great opportunity just a few minutes before the half time break but Munditi produced a brilliant save, which kept Makepekepe in the game.

Manondo did not get many clear chances as he played a bit dip as impressive youngster Diego Makurumidze was handed the responsibility to lead the attack.

But he could have pounced on the ball after Rodwell Chinyengetere had rifled in a low shot, which the keeper Donovan Bernard, nearly fumbled before he swiftly found his feet.

Bamusi was lively on the left wing throughout the game but the final touch was missing for Makepekepe, who most of the time suffered indecision.

But then Amidu decided the match after 48 minutes when he fired a low shot far to the keeper’s right after being set by Whata.

Munditi, who appeared confident and composed with the ball, was still pampered by a handful of the Green Machine fans after the game despite their team succumbing to a fourth consecutive defeat.

CAPS United coach Chitembwe was disappointed by the result, which pushed them further into 12th place on the log standings.

“From the results’ view point, it was not what I expected and I am sure everyone feels the same way, save for Chicken Inn. Yes they had a good result. But from the performance point of view, I thought there were some positives in today’s game as compared to the other games that we’ve played.

“In as far as the results are concerned I feel for the boys. They gave their all and unfortunately it was never meant to be and what else do we have to do but just have to make sure we dig a bit deeper and focus on the other games that are coming up.

“As far as I know there’s no situation that is permanent and we just have to change it, no one else will do it for us, it’s only us who can take ourselves out of the situation,” said Chitembwe.


 CAPS United: T. Munditi, K. Bulaji, T. Macheka (T. Macheka, 84th minute), M. Machazane,  D. Chafa, P. Bhamusi, R. Chinyengetere, I. Nyoni (J. Dzingai, 79th minute), J. Tulani, W. Manondo, D. Makurumidze.

 Chicken Inn: D. Bernard, P. Bernard, X. Ndlovu, N. Ketala, M. Jackson, S. Mhlanga, C. Dzingai, I. Mabunu, B. Amidu (G. Majika, 75th minutes), M. Whata (B. Ncube, 63rd minute) B. Muza (G. Majika, 85th minute).

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