Caps snatch point from Hwange

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - To­bias Man­doreba in Hwange

Hwange 0-0 Caps United HOSTS Hwange and vis­it­ing Caps United shared spoils in a tightly con­tested Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League match played be­fore a huge crowd at the Col­liery Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

It was clear at the end that the Green Ma­chine was more sat­is­fied with a point in light of the in­dus­trial ac­tion that saw play­ers threat­en­ing not to travel to Hwange if their out­stand­ing salaries and al­lowances were not paid.

Caps United showed pos­i­tive in­tent early on and could have raced into the lead in the 10th minute af­ter striker Sim­barashe Nhivi went on a mazy run on the right flank. He sent in a del­i­cate cross, but alert goal­keeper Fu­ture Sibanda smoth­ered the ball with Do­minic Chungwa ready to stab it home from in­side the box.

The coalmin­ers read the dan­ger signs well, blocked the por­ous ar­eas, and started sniff­ing around for a break­through, which could have come in the 20th minute when Munyaradzi Mun­gadze’s flash­ing header sailed ag­o­nis­ingly wide with big goal­keeper Ed­more Sibanda clutch­ing at straws.

Five min­utes later, Hwange striker Gil­bert Zulu turned saviour when he came from nowhere to clear a Phineas Ba­musi goal­bound ef­fort out for a cor­ner from the line, with the Caps United bench al­ready cel­e­brat­ing.

Ba­musi had con­nected a cheeky free-kick by Valen­tine Musarurwa from the edge of the box.

Ten min­utes from the breather, the waste­ful Chungwa con­tin­ued with his lack of pre­ci­sion in front of goal when he turned David Bori­wondo in­side out, only to miscue his ef­fort with the keeper to beat.

This was fol­lowed by a flurry of Caps United at­tacks en­gi­neered by mid­field king­pin Joel Ngodzo and Ba­musi, but Chungwa con­tin­ued to dis­ap­point.

The sec­ond half was a see-saw af­fair, with both teams tak­ing turns to at­tack each other’s goal, but noth­ing ma­te­ri­alised.

Chungwa thought he had bro­ken the dead­lock in the 55th minute, but ref­eree Allen Basvi had blown for a foul on goal­keeper Sibanda be­fore the big striker had slot­ted the ball into the nets.

Hwange at­trib­uted their fail­ure to col­lect max­i­mum points to tight man mark­ing tac­tics em­ployed by Caps United coach Lloyd Chitem­bwe, who as­signed steely de­fender Stephen Makatuka to stick to young slip­pery Hwange at­tack­ing mid­fielder Gift Mb­weti.

Mb­weti now or­ches­trates most of Hwange’s at­tacks.

“The game was a 50-50 af­fair and it was a fair re­sult, as both teams ap­proached the match with good tac­tics,” said Hwange coach Ma­belo Njekwa.

Chitem­bwe praised his boys for fight­ing for the point.

“I am happy with the ap­proach by my boys to the match. I can­not fault them on any­thing today, es­pe­cially given the cir­cum­stances in the build up to this game, and I hope we can work hard for pos­i­tive re­sults go­ing for­ward,” said Chitem­bwe.

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