CAPS Utd . . . . . . . (0) 1
Hwange . . . . . . . . (0) 1
BEFORE yesterday’s match against Hwange, CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe had warned his players against complacency, but the giants still found themselves trapped in that pitfall and had to scramble for a point at the National Sports Stadium.
John Zhuwawu scored the equaliser for Makepekepe just two minutes after Chipangano had surged into the driving seat against the run of play courtesy of Delic Murimba’s 76th minute strike.
Makepekepe, who were coming from one of their best displays this season after thumping Highlanders 3-1 with a brilliant performance at the same venue, could not reproduce the kind hunger they have displayed in the last nine games they have gone unbeaten.
Assistant coach Fungai Tostao Kwashi was disappointed by the lacklustre approach.
“The gaffer had already warned the guys that let’s not be in the hangover of the Highlanders game. Yes it was brilliant (against Highlanders) but let’s not go into this game thinking about that game.
“The good thing is the guys created chances. We had more shots on target, we had more crosses. Hwange were tight, compact and they were hitting us on the counter attack; sort of parking the bus but they played to their strength.
“But I am also hurt a little bit because we created enough chances to win the game but if you don’t score from your chances and the game keeps ticking on it means the other team is in the game.
“So we were not ruthless enough in terms of killing off the game early.
“Sometimes things come out that way but had we got an early goal it would have made our lives easier. But the moment you keep your opponents in the game they are bound to have their chances too,” said Kwashi.
The Green Machine, who are playing for their pride after falling away in the championship race, had the best of the exchanges in the game with Zhuwawu forcing a good save from the goalkeeper Collen Phiri early in the game when he controlled the ball inside the box and unleashed a rising shot.
Chitembwe had to be forced to change his game plan because of injury-induced substitutions after losing both fullbacks Valentine Musarurwa and Kudzai Nyamupfukudza in the first half.
However, the coach’s confidence in Amon Kambanje — ahead of other players — is surprising given how he has been struggling to make an impact all season.
Hwange also suffered an early injury blow when their skipper Gerald Ndlovu hauled out after only 22 minutes with a suspected ankle twist.
Dominic Chungwa was a perpetual menace but Makepekepe could not thrive with their pedestrian approach to the game.
Zhuwawu had his effort blocked at the near post by the goalkeeper after Chungwa had won possession wide on the right and perfectly cut the ball in for his partner.
The burly forward, who is leading the Golden Boot race on 14 goals, was disappointed when the goalkeeper Phiri blocked his effort following a communication breakdown in the Hwange penalty box in the 75th minute.
Straight from that missed chance, the visitors made no mistake after Murimba capitalised on a defensive blunder by substitute Carlton Munzabwa.
But the lead did not last.
Zhuwawu, who ironically had last scored against Hwange on September 21, broke his goal duck with a well struck effort from the edge of the box which curled into the bottom corner.
The result left Hwange in a tight spot as they remained third from the bottom and in the relegation zone with 31 points.
Hwange coach Bigboy Mawiwi was upset his charges could not maintain their slender lead.
“Naturally I am disappointed because after taking the lead we should have defended. We could not defend that goal and within five minutes we conceded a soft goal.
“That’s a goal which we could have defended and the result could have been good for us. We came for three points here and sadly we let in a soft goal.
“The result is not good for me and the team because we are in the relegation mix. We thought three points were going to do us a big favour. But we are focused and we will continue fighting. We have got the confidence, there are 12 points to play for,” said Mawiwi.
CAPS Utd: E. Sibanda, K. Nyamupfukudza (M. Muchenje, 45th min), V. Musarurwa (C. Munzabwa, 39th min), G. Goriyati, S. Makatuka, D. Chafa, J. Ngodzo (A. Kambanje, 60th min), P. Bamusi, H. Zvirekwi, D. Chungwa, J. Zhuwawu
Hwange: C. Phiri, K. Matake, G. Ndlovu (C. Phiri, 22nd min), C. Dickson, M. Mekiwa, A. Chuma, S. Gadzikwa, N. Ziwini (A. Banda, 81st min), E. Meleka, D. Murimba, C. Muvuti (J. Kaunda, 81st min)