Caps get back at Bosso

Chicken Inn end win­less streak against Hre City

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ed­die Chikamhi Ricky Zililo

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.”

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