Caps United stage glo­ri­ous come­back

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ed­die Chikamhi

Caps United 3 - 3 Dy­namos CAPS UNITED re­minded their rivals of their se­ri­ous am­bi­tion in this year’s Cas­tle Lager Premier­ship soc­cer cham­pi­onship race af­ter they staged a sen­sa­tional come­back in the last five min­utes of the Harare Derby to snatch a point from old rivals Dy­namos at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

Makepekepe stared what could have been their big­gest and most frus­trat­ing de­feat this year as they found them­selves trail­ing 3-0 with 85 min­utes played yes­ter­day.

How­ever, coach Lloyd Chitem­bwe’s men did the un­think­able to sal­vage a cru­cial point that kept them at the top of the log stand­ings with three games re­main­ing in the sea­son.

Cen­tre­back De­nis Dauda was the un­likely hero when he grabbed a late brace that sand­wiched Amon Kam­banje’s 88th minute goal to set the stage for a spine-tin­gling fin­ish.

Still, one could have been for­given to think that Caps United had won the match con­sid­er­ing the way they cel­e­brated af­ter the match.

This was one of the great­est come­backs in the Harare Derby since the 70s when the teams be­gan their ri­valry. In fact, Caps United could have pulled a sen­sa­tional vic­tory had Ron­ald Pfumbidzai’s header found the right el­e­va­tion deep in added time.

“Those are very good signs of great­ness in this team. I have al­ways said that. There is some­thing spe­cial within the group,” said Chitem­bwe.

“All the same I had thought the gloss had been taken away by the first half per­for­mance and part of the sec­ond half per­for­mance. But the last 15 min­utes were bril­liant.

“The whole idea is to try and at least col­lect a point and I’m happy with the point but nat­u­rally not so happy with how we played for the most part of the game.

“But, of course, col­lect­ing a point against Dy­namos is a very good thing. It’s a point well de­served, they are not a Mickey Mouse team and at the end of the day I thought the boys re­ally ap­plied them­selves and they de­served that point.”

The point was re­ceived al­most like a win con­sid­er­ing Makepekepe had re­signed to de­feat af­ter tak­ing a 0-3 bat­ter­ing, cour­tesy of goals from Rod­er­ick Mu­tuma, Masimba Mam­bare and sub­sti­tute Tawanda Macheke.

Mu­tuma put DeMbare ahead af­ter nine min­utes of play when he re­acted the fastest to pun­ish Makepekepe goal­keeper Jo­rum Muchambo who had failed to do the ba­sics with a low shot from Dy­namos’ man of the mo­ment Brett Amidu.

The Glam­our Boys en­joyed the bet­ter of the ex­changes but they also had goal­keeper Ash­ley Reyn­ers to thank for keep­ing Makepekepe at bay with some im­por­tant saves.

Makepekepe mid­fielder Ab­bas Amidu crashed his header against the up­right in the 33rd minute and DeMbare sur­vived from the melee as Syd­ney Linyama cleared the ball from the line.

The Green Ma­chine, how­ever, suf­fered a huge set­back when Masimba Mam­bare dou­bled DeMbare’s lead with a well-ex­e­cuted chip over the goal­keeper af­ter Brett Amidu had again done the dam­age on the left flank be­fore squar­ing the ball.

New­boy Macheke then had the eas­i­est of tasks to ac­com­plish in the 73rd minute when goal­keeper Muchambo and his cap­tain Stephen Makatuka col­lided in­side the box when go­ing for a low cross by Mam­bare.

DeMbare’s as­sis­tant coach Mu­rape Mu­rape was ec­static as he took to the dance floor with some fancy footwork which seemed to mock their op­po­nents. In that state of emo­tion he made some ges­tures which called the at­ten­tion of fourth of­fi­cial No­more Musundire who rec­om­mended his ex­pul­sion from the bench.

But then Caps United, who now en­joy a one point ad­van­tage at the top of the ta­ble af­ter tak­ing their tally to 54, re­fused to throw in the towel as bit­ter rivals High­landers were win­ning 3-1 against Bu­l­awayo City to move to 53 points.

Dauda headed home Caps United’s opener when he jumped the high­est in a crowded area af­ter Simba Nhivi’s shot had come off the cross­bar as DeMbare found them­selves un­der siege from a cor­ner taken by Ron­ald Pfumbidzai.

Kam­banje then gave Caps United rea­son to be­lieve with the sec­ond goal, an­other header but this time from a free-kick taken by Hardlife Zvirekwi just out­side the penalty box.

Dy­namos de­fend­ers were found want­ing late in the game when it comes to the set-pieces and the ab­sence of skip­per Stephen Aliem­nda, who got in­jured 10 min­utes from reg­u­la­tion, was telling.

And when Caps United won an­other cor­ner deep in added time, DeMbare’s fears were con­firmed as Dauda headed home the equaliser at the back­post.

DeMbare coach Lloyd Mu­tasa nearly came short of ac­cus­ing some of his play­ers of stab­bing him in the back af­ter giv­ing away such a healthy lead.

“There are cer­tain play­ers who didn’t play to the in­struc­tion. In­stead of do­ing their de­fen­sive du­ties they re­sorted to their own type of foot­ball.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing that you take a 3-0 lead and some young­sters threw cau­tion to the wind. We con­ceded three sim­i­lar goals com­ing from the blind side where we had as­signed peo­ple, it’s very dis­ap­point­ing.

“To us it was game over (when lead­ing 3-0) but as a coach you can­not go onto the pitch and play. You can only but as­sign play­ers to do their du­ties. And if they can­not do that un­der such cir­cum­stances then you may end up think­ing there is a hid­den agenda be­hind it,” said Mu­tasa.

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