Caps leave it late to beat Triangle
Triangle FC 1- 2 Caps United SECOND half substitute Kudzai Nyamupfukudza scored a late winner as title chasers Caps United beat Triangle and closed the gap to just one point behind leaders FC Platinum in a lively Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Gibbo yesterday.
Caps United, who have now amassed 43 points from 22 matches, dominated the first half and could have scored as early as the 9th minute but Triangle goalkeeper Tapiwa Chilenga was equal to the task as he finger-tipped Simba Nhivi’s effort over for a corner.
The visitors continued to probe the home side’s defence as they looked for an early goal but Chilenga was forced to make another smart save from Caps United captain Moses Muchenje’s thunderbolt in the 20th minute.
The clearance resulted in a corner and the home side were nearly punished but were lucky to see the ball come back into play off Chilenga’s head after a free header from veteran striker Leonard Tsipa.
Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe made a first half tactical change, bringing on Archieford Gutu for Abbas Amidu, who did not play so badly, and the visitors scored the opening goal shortly after.
A terrible mistake by Ralph Kawondera, who failed to clear Hardlife Zvirekwi’s pass, gave a clear advantage to Tsipa who could not make a mistake with only the keeper to beat to put the visitors into the lead in the 37th minute and that was the last real action of the first half.
Sugar Sugar boys got their equaliser on the hour mark after a mistake by veteran goalie Edmore “ZiKeeper” Sibanda who spilled Rodwell Mhlanga’s drive from a corner into Nelson Maziwisa’s path and he was quick to react and directed the ball into the back of the net to level the scores.
Maziwisa then made way for Courage Denias shortly after and the former Caps United midfielder added the much-needed firepower and height for the home side.
Triangle captain Nhamo Lameck was twice denied in succession, first by Sibanda who pushed his effort wide before Dennis Dauda’s goal line clearance kept the visitors in the game in the 78th minute.
Later on Tsipa was correctly flagged for off-side by first assistant referee Antony Siyavunda despite expertly directing his header past the goalkeeper.
Caps United faithfuls, however, celebrated what proved to be the winner in the final minute of the match.
Nyamupfukudza, who came on for the injured substitute Gutu, turned a Triangle defender inside out before unleashing a low shot that gave Chilenga no chance at all and handed Chitembwe the precious three points away from home.
Triangle coach David “Yogi” Mandigora was left a frustrated man after seeing his side succumb to a third straight defeat.
“I am very disappointed with the loss, our defending was very poor throughout the game and I think that’s where we lost it,” Mandigora said.
His opposite number and long-time rival Chitembwe was happy with the three points especially that pacesetters FC Platinum lost two points in their 1-1 draw against ZPC Kariba in Nyamhunga on Saturday.
“I think we did very well, we played some fantastic football in the first half and they (FC Triangle) came at us in the second half; and that’s the nature of football, you can’t dominate the entire 90 minutes but I am happy with my team’s performance today,” he said.