Green Machine leads the pack
Border Strikers 1 - 3 Caps United CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League title favourites Caps United put on a top drawer performance to dismiss whipping boys Border Strikers 3-1 at Dulivhadzimu Stadium yesterday.
The win took the Green Machine to the top of the league table with 53 points after fellow title contenders FC Platinum faltered and surrendered top spot following a 1-2 loss to Harare City on Saturday. FC Platinum are now second on 51 points and Highlanders third with 50 points from 26 outings.
There were minor skirmishes in the morning between a group of Caps United fans and groundsmen, who barred the supporters from entering the stadium at around 7AM.
Veteran marksman Leonard Tsipa opened the scoring in the 21st minute through a diving header off a Phineas Bamusi cross inside the box.
However, the lead lasted a few seconds as the home team replied from the restart through a Farai Mususunye strike after being set up by Livingstone Genti.
Both teams played some attacking football in the first half with Caps United dominating the exchanges. The visitors made use of their dominance by regaining the lead two minutes before the breather courtesy of Simba Nhivi after Genti had failed to clear his lines under pressure.
Border Strikers’ defender Shelton Muzamba earned himself a red card just before half time for crudely tackling Ronald Pfumbidzai in front of referee Arnold Ncube.
Though Border Strikers played a lot of attacking football, they clearly missed linkman Godfrey Mukambi, who was serving a suspension for collecting three yellow cards.
Caps United upped the tempo in the second half and camped in the hosts’ half looking for a third goal to kill off the match.
Coach Lloyd Chitembwe tightened the screws on Luke Masomere’s side by introducing Dominic Chungwa for the tired Tsipa on the hour mark.
Chungwa combined well with Bamusi and Pfumbidzai, which resulted in them getting a late goal in the 88th minutes through Tafadzwa Rusike who had come in for Abbas Amidu in the 69th minute.
Chitembwe said they had collected maximum points because his charges had converted the clear cut chances they created.
“We conceded an unnecessary goal and we wasted a lot of chances, but generally I am happy with this victory. The whole idea is to collect maximum points to compete for the title,” said Chitembwe.
His Border Strikers counterpart Masomere said: “I am disappointed with the result though we played well. We have been working hard on our attack, but we were our own enemies as we created a lot of chances, but failed to convert and were punished. This loss does not mean we are losing hope. We will fight to the last match of the season. We will continue working on our shortcomings so that we survive relegation. I personally want to win the next game.”
Caps United players mob goalscorer Leonard Tsipa at Dulivhadzimu Stadium in Beitbridge yesterday