Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
CAPS United ………… 0
Harare City ………. (0) 1
CAPS United coach Mark Mathe yesterday said his team’s defeat at the hands of Harare City was unacceptable after the Harare giants parcelled out a gift goal to their opponents and recorded a rare home loss in a Castle Lager Premiership soccer match at the National Sports Stadium. Makepekepe succumbed to a 47th minute strike by Osborne Mukuradare following a defensive mix-up between goalkeeper Criss Mverechena and Carlton Munzabwa.
The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for the Green Machine who had lost only once to Chapungu at home this year.
CAPS United failed to rise to the occasion yesterday against the high expectations that had been created by the unveiling of their mid-season acquisitions.
Among the new players confirmed by the club last week, only Oscar Machapa, who was voted CAPS United’s man-of-the-match, and Zambian left-back Michael Mwenya played the whole match while Dominic Chungwa and Phineas Bamusi were introduced from the bench.
Overall, the game lacked creativity from both sides although CAPS United had the better of the exchanges earlier on.
City pounced on a good chance soon after the restart and punished their hosts following a communication breakdown between Mverechena and Munzabwa.
Sunshine Boys’ Mukuradare, who has experienced dry spells this year, grabbed the opportunity with both hands and made no mistake by tapping the ball home as Mverechena watched helplessly.
Mathe was clearly not happy with the way they conceded this goal.
“The team that scores the most goals wins the game, but look we gave them a gift goal and it’s unacceptable at this level. Concentration and communication must have been better.
“I think that goal took the stuffing out of our fighting spirit. We didn’t fight like we did in the first half. But I must say we played well.
“I think the major problem was we lacked imagination or correct decisions in the final third. Going into our next training session we need to improve on that,” said Mathe.
CAPS United were forced to make an injury inspired substitution after 40 minutes when veteran Leonard Tsipa showed signs of discomfort after getting into a couple of rough challenges.
Kudzai Nyamufukudza had the best chance for Makepekepe when he was sent through the middle in the 44th minute and the youthful forward took his time and failed to beat advancing goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube. Mukuradare’s goal soon after the restart made the difference.
Mverechena appeared to have been affected by the blunder as moments later he fumbled a low cross from Takudzwa Chimwemwe who had worked his way on the right wing and released a speculative ball into the box.
The goalkeeper failed to make a clean catch and needed to collect the ball on second attempt. Harare City’s big forward, Francesco Zekumbawira, could have done better right at the death when he beat his markers on the left but could not connect his shot well.
The Sunshine Boys’ assistant coach, Mike “Dread” Madzivanyika, could not hide the relief in their changing room. City have not been finishing off matches of late with many of their matches ending in stalemates. They swapped places with the Green Machine as they are now sixth on the log standings with 26 points while Makepekepe remained on 25.
“It’s a huge relief for us to win today because we have been drawing and I think it’s a good result for us,” said Madzivanyika.
“I think the boys played well and they deserved to win. We were fighting for every ball and we were solid in defence. We had a couple of chances and had we put them away, the scoreline could have been different.”
CAPS United: C. Mverechena, V. Musarurwa, M. Mwenya, C. Munzabwa, S. Makatuka, D. Mukandi, G. Nyirenda (B. Nyamuzihwa, 69th minute), H. Zvirekwi, O. Machapa, K. Nyamupfukudza (P. Bamusi, 46th minute), L. Tsipa (D. Chungwa, 46th minute)
Harare City: T. Dube, D. Kutyauripo, A. Chivheya, C. Dickson, T. Ndhlovu, T. Samanja, N. Ziwini (F. Zekumbawira, 62nd minute), W. Manondo, M. Vengesayi (K. Kumwala, 86th minute), O. Mukuradare (R. Uchena, 71st minute), T. Chimwemwe