Caps United . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2) 2
Chicken Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
CAPS United completed a double over Chicken Inn in a space of five days after edging the Bulawayo side in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Moses Muchenje’s long-range strike and a Hardlife Zvirekwi close-range effort gave the home side an early lead before returnee Tendai Ndoro pulled one back for the visitors at the stroke of half time. With this win, Caps United moved to within five points of log leaders Highlanders and suddenly, there is an air of optimism in their camp.
“We are still in the championship race, but we have to win our next match on Saturday to confirm that,” Caps United assistant coach Saul Chaminuka, said.
Chicken Inn maintained their sixth position at 36 points and eight points behind the leading team, but with 24 points still to play for, coach Mandla Mpofu believes his team still has a good chance.
This match was the second game between the two teams in a space of five days after their meeting in the Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final last Saturday in which Caps United triumphed 2-1.
Just like their last meeting, Caps United were the quickest out of the blocks and took the lead after just five minutes, but it was in fortunate circumstances.
Chicken Inn goalkeeper Liberty Chirava strayed outside his area for a routine clearance, but his tame shot landed on Muchenje who grabbed the opportunity and punished the former Young Warriors keeper with an exquisite lob.
Caps United extended the lead moments after when Zvirekwi wriggled his way into the box before releasing a snap shot that beat Chirava. It was a blistering opening minutes for Caps United in which they could have scored at least four goals with Tawanda Nyamandwe’s shot cleared off the line after he had been put through on 11 minutes while Rahman Kutsanzira’s header was scooped out by Chirava two minutes later.
However, Chicken Inn clawed back into the match and Ndoro managed to get one back towards the half-time break when Ndoro, back on loan from South Africa’s Black Aces, managed to control the ball inside the box to fire past Tafadzwa Dube.
Chicken Inn had more possession in the second half and could have at least got a point. However, the closest they came in finding the net was when Ndoro’s header came off the crossbar just after the hour mark.