Caps get back at Bosso
Chicken Inn end winless streak against Hre City
Caps United 1 - 0 Highlanders DIMINUTIVE midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike yesterday turned back the hands of time with a brilliant individual performance that reminded many of his peak as he helped Harare giants Caps United settle an old score with traditional rivals Highlanders in the Battle of the Cities Part II at the National Sports Stadium yesterday. Rusike, who burst onto the local scene with the Green Machine eight years ago as a sprightly teenager from Alaska, produced probably one of his finest shows since his return to the Green Machine this year. The midfielder was involved in most of the moves yesterday and in the second half he lifted his game a gear up as Highlanders defenders struggled to deal with his pace and skill. Makepekepe, who lost 1-0 in the first meeting of these back to back encounters at Barbourfields just before the mid-season break, reversed the score courtesy of Dominic Chungwa’s 5 6 th minute strike. day in the office when he failed to beat goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda from the spot.
However, Makepekepe still managed to get maximum points and swapped positions with Highlanders. Lloyd Chitembwe’s men are now in second place on the log standings, four points behind leaders FC Platinum who beat Bulawayo City 1-0 at Luveve on Saturday.
Although Rusike had to limp out injured in the 78th minute, he had done enough to arouse the Makepekepe fans who cheered most of his moves in the second half. Caps United assistant coach Mark Mathe was also impressed by the midfielder.
“Rusike is an experienced player and we expect him to perform at that level. He played well and we are happy with his performances,” said Mathe.
Caps United now have 32 points in the bag while Highlanders remained on 31 after 16 games. Bosso had better chances earlier in the game with Ralph Matema, Erick Mudzingwa and Rahman Kutsanzira coming close in the first 15 minutes but the visitors somehow retreated into their shell for the most part of the game.
Makepekepe seized the momentum and could have had at least a goal before the breather with a bit of precision. Chungwa was the biggest culprit as twice he failed to do justice to the forays initiated by Ronald Pfumbidzai on the left wing.
Caps United continued to pile the pressure in the second half with Rusike difficult to handle once in the opponents’ half.
His persistence was eventually rewarded in the 56th minute when his long range shot bounced off the goalkeeper’s chest to present Chungwa with an easy task to bury the rebound from close range.
Rusike returned to haunt the visitors defence soon afterwards with three men surrounding him but as he burst into the box the ball hit skipper Felix Chindungwe’s hand and referee Brighton Chimene pointed to the spot.
Chafa stepped up to take the responsibility hoping to get his first goal for Makepekepe. However, goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda made an impressive dive to his right hand to keep the scoreboard unchanged. Then came the lamentable moment when the rival supporters started a war of missiles in the terraces.
No injuries were reported but both clubs are likely to face the music for their supporters’ behaviour.
Although Caps United managed to maintain their lead until the final whistle, the technical team was still not entirely happy with the overall performance.
“We didn’t play the way that we would have liked but we got the all-important goal and got the three crucial points. So going forward we really need to improve in playing, I mean, holistically as a unit but at the end of the day we are happy with the three points.
“It was a stark contrast of how we played at Barbourfields. At Barbourfields we dominated the game outright but here in Harare we didn’t control the game. But at the end of the day we got that chance and put it away.
“It’s a crucial result; it keeps us there with the leading pack — FC Platinum, Highlanders — so to speak. We are happy and now we are focusing on the next game against Tsholotsho in Bulawayo, which is another tough game,” said Mathe.
Highlanders missed striker Prince Dube who was injured just before kickoff.
Their coach Erol Akbay said his charges failed to come to the party yesterday.
Fatigue could also be catching up with the Bulawayo giants who have played three competitive games inside seven days when other teams were enjoying the midseason Premiership break.
“Of course if you play three games in a week it makes play difficult but that’s not an excuse. We had told the players to play football but it didn’t come out as we had wanted today. I can say Caps United were better today,” said Akbay.
“We didn’t play so good today. Every time we were always one second too late and when you are late it means the opponent gets stronger and more confident. We had the chance to finish the game in the first half but we couldn’t do that.”
Chicken Inn 2-0 Harare City VETERAN midfielder Clemence Matawu’s second half strike and an own goal by Harare City defender Munyaradzi Diro-Nyenye secured Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions Chicken Inn maximum points ending their four-match winless streak.
Chicken Inn had last tasted victory on July 3 when they beat Highlanders 2-0. After that the champions drew against Ngezi Platinum and Harare City, and lost to Chapungu and FC Platinum.
Lady luck smiled on Chicken Inn yesterday as they shot into the lead courtesy of an own goal by Diro-Nyenye who beat his goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu while attempting to clear a Matawu cross from the right in the 11th minute.
The goal seemed to inspire the visitors as they took control of the game but failed to breach the Chicken Inn defence.
Harare City twice came close to equalising, first in the 20th minute when striker Francesco Zekumbawire was brought down on the edge of the box and Tafadzwa Chimwemwe’s set piece missed the target by inches.
Defensive midfielder James Jam’s 30th minute longrange attempt went just over the bar.
After the hour mark, Chicken Inn’s mid-season signing Ozias Zibande hit the side netting after beating his marker.
Harare City kept probing, but were let down by poor decision-making inside the box.
In the 63rd minute, the visitors should have equalised when winger William Manondo sent in a good delivery into the box which eluded Chicken Inn defenders and goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, but found no takers.
Chicken Inn then pulled out Zibande for defender Ben Nyahunzwi in the 70th minute in a move aimed at protecting their lead. They sealed victory 10 minutes from time through Matawu.
Chicken Inn won a free kick on the left side and leftback Divine Lunga sent in a cross that midfielder Pride Tafirenyika cut back to Matawu, who turned and shot past Nyamupanedengu.
“I think the score line is not a true reflection of the game because it was a tight game. Luck was on our side and we managed to get two goals,” said Rahman Gumbo, the Chicken Inn coach.
Harare City coach Moses Chunga said: “We need to work on our finishing because we are not doing enough in the final third. After today’s performance, I think we should go with our heads held high and I’m sure in the next game we’re going to get a positive result.”