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History and joy as Caps United dump TP Mazembe, $550k pay cheque certain

19/03/2017 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Fine saves ... Caps goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda
 
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CAPS United defied odds to beat TP Mazembe to the ticket to the money spinning group stage of the African Champions League following a 0-0 in the decisive second leg at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The Zimbabwe champions are now guaranteed a $550 000 pay cheque as they qualified on away goal rule after they forced a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture.

The result also saw Caps United maintaining their unbeaten run at the National Sports Stadium since Lloyd Chitembwe took over the reins way back in September 2015.

More importantly, it is the first time for Caps United to reach the group stage of the prestigious competition in their history.

Qualification into this lucrative stage had become stubbornly elusive in previous attempts with Caps United exiting the tournament in the first round in their previous appearance in 2006.

The visitors piled on the pressure from the first whistle with Kevin Mundeko missing a headed opportunity.

Caps United, without playmaker, Ronald Chitiyo, defended deep in their half waiting to hit their opponents with counter attacks and on 20 minutes, skipper Moses Muchenje came close with a stunning volley while Simba Nhivi had a speculative shot saved by the keeper.

The visitors still continued to ask questions with Asene Zola missing the target narrowly. 

But the home team had another good opportunity two minutes later but Tafadzwa Rusike reacted slowly to a wonderful delivery into the penalty area by Phineas Bhamusi.

In the second half, TP Mazembe had a handball appeal turned away by Seychelles referee who handled the match after having attracted attention following the controversial manner in which he officiated the previous match between the DRC giants and Orlando Pirates three years ago.

On 52 minutes, Ben Malango breached the Caps United defence but he lacked the presence of mind in the penalty area and it was a wasted chance.

Caps United, however, were kept in the game by goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda who denied substitute Elia Meschak with a fine save on 63 minutes after he was set up by Kalaba.



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