Green Machine on the prowl
Makepekepe needed to soak the pressure playing with the knowledge that their main rivals in the race, FC Platinum, had won a big match against Dynamos at Mandava on Saturday to open a four-point gap between them.
Highlanders, who are in third place, also made sure that the last five games of the season will be captivating when they won their match against newboys Ngezi Platinum 2-1 at Barbourfields yesterday.
FC Platinum lead the marathon with 51 points while Caps United moved to 50 in second place. Highlanders are breathing down their necks on 47 points.
Chitembwe was a happy man yesterday as goals from Dennis Dauda, Leonard Tsipa and Chungwa secured maximum points for the Green Machine.
The ending was magical as emotions took over the show both on the pitch and on the terraces with two goals scored in the last three minutes of the game.
It had looked like the match would end in a share of the spoils when How Mine’s Milton Ncube scored from the spot right on the stroke of time to level the scores after Godfrey Nguwodzawo had reduced the arrears in the 71st minute. Chungwa then settled the matters with a brilliant header just moments into added time to ignite wild celebrations among the
Their coach Chitembwe should have felt the greatest relief with the victory after his team had apparently given away a two-goal lead.
The former midfielder was impressed with his charges performance although he felt his team lost the steam in the second half. Caps United are desperate to end an 11-year barren spell in the quest for the Premiership title.
“I think it was very vital for us to collect the three points so that we keep the momentum and keep the pressure on the leaders. Of course, I am naturally happy with the result but I thought it was a game of two halves. The first half was absolutely perfect but the second was not as good.
“All the same, the resilience and the character the boys showed was out of this world. When everything got gloomy, the boys rose (to the ocassion) and we got what we deserved out of this match.
“I honestly believe we deserved three points considering the way we dominated in the first half. I thought the game was for us. It was going to be very unfair for us not to collect the three points.
“All the same, what’s more important is the result,” said Chitembwe.
Caps United and FC Platinum are running neck and neck with five games remaining in the season. FC Platinum though have a one point advantage.
Makepekepe needed nothing short of victory yesterday to boost their confidence. They got all their goals from corner kicks as their opponents struggled to deal with set-pieces.
Dauda gave Caps United the strong start they had hoped for when he made a suicidal slide at the back post to bury a corner from Ronald Pfumbidzayi.
Tsipa added to their tally when he headed home from close range after Pfumbidzayi had kept the ball in from another Caps United corner taken by Hardlife Zvirekwi.
The 34-year-old striker took his tally to nine goals this season and remained joint top scorer with Hwange’s Gift Mbweti who was also on target yesterday to take the tally to nine goals.
But How Mine returned from the breather stronger and hit back through substitute Nguwodzawo who also took advantage of poor defending by Caps United from a corner by Thembai Masuku.
How Mine then won a penalty when Dauda fouled Toto Banda inside the box. Former Warriors leftback Ncube stepped up and levelled the scores in the 90th minute.
The home side’s supporters, who were singing and dancing all along, had suddenly frozen. But then Makepekepe were not done.
Caps United won a corner and Pfumbidzayi swerved