Caps leave it late to beat Tri­an­gle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Os­car Rusenga in 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.

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