Caps revive title hopes

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CAPS United recovered from the midweek heartache in Hwange to inflict a bruising on relegation strugglers Chiredzi United at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.

HENRY MHARA
SPORTS REPORTER

Caps United……………. (3)……3
Chiredzi United………………….0

First-half substitute Leonard Fiyado scored a brace including a 45th minute penalty to add on to Kenneth Bulaji’s early opener, in a match that had a false start.

The visitors played the second half a man short after captain David Sengu was shown a straight red at the stroke of halftime for a professional foul on Bulaji.

The win saw Caps United moving two places up the log standings to third position with 33 points, two behind joint leaders ZPC Kariba and Dynamos.

Problems continue to mount for the Lowveld team who now need a modern day football miracle to survive relegation. Eleven points from 19 matches, Chiredzi are bottom of the log and their next fixtures are not at all enticing.

The win was a perfect response that Caps United coach Taurai Mangwiro had hoped for after the 1-2 defeat to Hwange on Thursday which came in controversial circumstances.

However, Mangwiro was livid at the end of the match, attacking Chiredzi coach Gishon Ntini whom he accused of trying to snatch his job. Reports suggest that Ntini last week approached the Caps United hierarchy offering his services.

“As coaches, we should work together in a very sound way not the way he (Ntini) goes around backbiting others.

“I was under pressure and he tried to take advantage, so the result is a special present for him.

“I’m not happy to be honest, it’s so sad. Last year when things were not going well at Triangle when he was still the coach there, I was the first person to call him to find out what was happening and what does he do now?

“He needs to have respect for others. If I’m in charge of the team, respect me for that time and if there is a vacancy then he can make a move not the way he goes about conducting his business,” Mangwiro said.

Ntini refused to talk about the issue, instead concentrating on yesterday’s events.

He blamed the defeat on the local league administrators after fellow members of the technical team were initially banned from sitting on the bench because they had no licences which are given by Zifa at a cost of $200 each.

The fracas delayed the match for about seven minutes, and that is likely to attract a fine from the Premier Soccer League.

The jerseys the team used yesterday had no league sponsor’s logo, an offence which has a $25 penalty charged per player for the 18 players on the team sheet.

It was the home side that dominated play from the onset despite missing the services of the influential Tapiwa Kumbuyani, Tendai Samanja and Honey Mutimunzeve through suspension.

They took the lead just after five minutes, but in fortunate circumstances. Chiredzi goalkeeper Brighton Chipula made a mess of Bulaji’s effort and the ball crossed the line.

The referee awarded a goal despite resistance from the Chiredzi players.

Fiyado, a 20th-minute substitute for the injured Dominic Chungwa then doubled Caps United’s lead on 43rd minute when he turned in a Tafadzwa Mahori cross.

It got even better for Fiyado and Caps United a minute later when they were awarded a penalty after Sengu pulled down Bulaji who was clear on goal.

The stocky defender was shown a red card for his troubles. Fiyado sent Chipula the wrong way from the spot.

The Green Machine dominated the second half, exploiting spaces created by the void left by Sengu at the back, but could not turn the supremacy into further goals.