CHAMPIONS Caps United were happy to leave Hartsfield Grounds with a point after they came from behind to force a draw against Bulawayo City in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match yesterday.
Ishmael Wadi gave the home side a 32nd minute lead, much against the run of play, as the visitors dictated pace earlier on, the striker nodding the ball home past goalkeeper, Edmore Sibanda, off a Sipho Ndlovu cross.
The Green Machine levelled the scoreline in the 46th minute when John Zhuwawu sneaked past Bulawayo City defenders to get to the end of a cross by Phineas Bhamusi from the left, which he headed into the net.
Bulawayo City played the last 20 minutes of the match a man shot after Morris Kadzola was sent for an early shower by referee Munyaradzi Majoni in the 70th minute for a second bookable offence following a crude tackle on Bhamusi.
Kadzola first received his booking for fouling the speedy Bhamusi five minutes before the break.
Caps United, with the numerical advantage, dominated play for the better part of the game, but were not sharp in the final third.
Their assistant coach, Mark Mathe said they were happy to get a point.
“We are happy we got the point after the morale-sapping loss to Dynamos. Our objective is to keep clawing up the ladder. It was not easy. Bulawayo City defended well and beating a team that is less a player is always psychologically difficult,” he said.
The hosts, who have been inconsistent this term, were also delighted to get a point against the champions.
“It’s a precious point considering that we were playing a good team. Overall, I think we did not come to the party, but I am happy we played well in the second half. I think we are within reach of a top eight finish in the league,” coach Mandla Mpofu said.
With the point, Caps United moved above Chapungu on the log standings into 11th position with 29 points, a rung below their opponents yesterday.
While Caps United dominated possession, it was City who could have added to their advantage in the 37th minute through Wadi, who unleashed a volley from a Kadzola cross, but Sibanda made a brilliant save punching the ball away for a corner.
At the other end, an unmarked Bhamusi failed to control the ball inside the penalty box after he was picked by the returning Dominic Chungwa.
On the stroke of half-time, Zhuwawu was denied by goalkeeper, Ndodana Sibanda when he packed a grounder from the edge of the penalty box.
Bulawayo City’s Newman Sianchali came close to give his side the lead in the 57th minute after capitalising from a defensive gaffe by Caps United’s Carlton Munzabwa, but his shot hit the cross bar.
Bulawayo City: N Sibanda, M Sianchali, S Ndlovu, C Rupiya (A Tandi, 72′), I Wadi, M Mungadze, Z Ngodzo, R Pavari, Z Sibanda, I Kutsanzira, M Kadzola (red card, 70′)
Caps United: E Sibanda, B Musarurwa, H Zvirekwi, C Munzabwa, S Makatuka, D Chafa, M Muchenje, P Bhamusi, A Chidiebere, J Zhuwawu, D Chungwa