CAPS United……(1) 2
Monomotapa…. (1) 1
CAPS United kept their title dream alive after overcoming a battling Monomotapa in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Forceful striker Dominic Chungwa opened the account for Caps United 19 minutes into the match before Moses Chenje converted a penalty in the second half to seal victory for the Harare giants.
The victory — their first over Monomotapa since 2006 — lifted them to fourth position on the league table with 31 points.
With eternal rivals Dynamos stuttering to another 0-0 draw against lowly Black Rhinos in Kadoma, the victory was made all the sweeter. United goalkeeper coach Brenna Msiska was delighted with the victory despite his team squandering plenty of opportunities.
“We are happy with three points. This team had given us problems, but today we have beaten them. We played well, but missed a good number of chances. At the moment we are just looking at ourselves. We are not worried about how other teams are playing,” Msiska said.
The Green Machine dominated in the first half in which they bombarded the Monomotapa goal with an assortment of shots.
Their dominance counted for little as they were restricted to a narrow victory and Monoz could have even escaped with a point as they took the game to their opponents in the second half.
Taurai Mangwiro’s men however, showed a lot of verve especially in the first half with roving left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai delivering a wonderful cross into the penalty area in the second minute, but it found no takers.
In the 10th minute, Ismael Lawe wasted a good opportunity when he directed his effort over the bar after winning the ball in the penalty area.
In the 16th minute, Monoz came close with forward Agrippa Murimba winning a race with Tawanda Munyanduri before unleashing a shot which, however, crashed against the upright.
As Monoz were beginning to threaten United, they cracked on 19 minutes with Chungwa forcing his way between defenders Sithole and Morgan Mungombe before placing the ball besides an advancing goalkeeper Tapiwa Zvaita.
Monoz fell further behind soon after the second half, with Sithole needlessly bringing down Tawanda Nyamandwe in the penalty area, as he looked for space after he found himself surrounded by a cluster of defenders.
The referee pointed to the spot and Moses Muchenje showed conviction as he stepped up to take responsibility. The former Gunners midfielder coolly converted for Caps’ second goal. Monoz coach Biggie Zuze then introduced Hamilton Masumbuko for Praise Tonha eight minutes into the second half with Mangwiro also responding by pulling out Maglas and throwing in Gerald Phiri.
It nearly paid dividends for Mangwiro as Nyamandwe and Kutsanzira came close. It was, however, in the 67th minute in which Phiri could have registered his name on the score sheet after coming face to face with the keeper, only for his effort to crash against the upright.
But Monoz refused to throw in the towel and Nelson Meson had the ball in the back of the nets after winning possession on the left before cutting inside and then placing the ball besides Caps United goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo who stood in for Tafadzwa Dube, away on national duty in Zambia.
Zuze accepted defeat after the match. “Credit to Caps United, they played well especially in the first half, but we came stronger in the second half and could have got a point. They showed great character. I don’t remember losing to Caps United since I joined Monomotapa some three years ago,” Zuze said.