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Caps United edge Highlanders 1-0 to claim second spot
31/07/2016 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
From villain to hero ... Dominic Chungwa
 
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CAPS UNITED have avenged their defeat to Highlanders two weeks back following a 1-0 victory over the Bulawayo giants in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Dominic Chungwa turned himself from villain to hero, scoring the solitary goal after wasting several opportunities including a miss from three yards-so wild it could be the Miss of the Season. Chungwa’s strike breathed life into a campaign that had suffered a major reversal following the 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture.

The win catapulted the Green Machine to second spot on the league table with thirty two points, four behind leaders FC Platinum while Highlanders slipped to third with thirty one points.

Both teams were missing key players with Caps United taking to the field without striker Leonard Tsipa and vice-captain, Stephen Makatuka, through suspension. Highlanders, without Bruce Kangwa- scorer of the only goal in Bulawayo-and Prince Dube, struggled to cope and looked vulnerable.

The match started on a slow tempo with both teams struggling to create chances but Rahman Kutsanzira missed a good opportunity for Highlanders 14 minutes into the match with Chungwa also missing a headed chance for Caps United thirty nine minutes into the game.

The Caps United striker was found wanting again on 41 minutes, directing the ball over the bar from a brilliant pass by Ronald Pfumbidzai from three yards.

Highlanders coach Erol Akbay made a change in the second half, bringing on Kasimero Chimbadzwa for  Nhlanhla Ndlovu but it was Caps United who benefited instead with Chungwa pouncing on to a rebound after goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda had palmed a shot by the outstanding Tafadzwa Rusike into his path to score with ease.

Chungwa was mobbed by his team mates before he ran to embrace his coach in celebration of a goal that had become stubbornly elusive.

After the goal, the home team grew in confidence and threatened with some raids resulting in under pressure Felix Chindungwe conceding a penalty after he handled the ball in the penalty area.  But Devon Chafa was denied by the impressive Sibanda with a fine save.

And there was tension in the stands soon after the goal with supporters from both teams engaging in war of words culminating in missiles raining from both ends.



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Chungwa also had another effort saved by Sibanda on 70 minutes before Pfumbidzai had his effort crashing against the upright post on 75 minutes as the Harare giants sought to double their lead.

Caps United assistant coach Mark Mathe said they were happy with the victory.

“This is in stark contrast to how we played in Bulawayo. In Bulawayo we dominated outright but we didn’t win. Today we didn’t dominate, but we got a chance and scored and we could have also scored another goal but we missed a penalty. These things do happen in football and we are happy with three points. But we still need to improve and try to convert chances into goals. Our focus is now on our next match against Tsholotsho,” said Mathe.

Highlanders coach Akbay said: “Our play was not so good today. We played three games in a week but that is not an excuse. What I can say is that Caps United were the better team today. We were also missing players upfront and our style of football was not good today, we were playing long balls forward. I don’t like that style of football,” said Akbay.




 


 
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