CAPS United recovered from a defeat to FC Platinum last week to edge a battling Triangle in a tightly contested Castle Lager Premier Soccer League football match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Caps United……….(1) 2
The Harare giants who threw new Malawian signing Ishmael Thindwa into the fray, raced into the lead on seven minutes after skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani got to the end of a well taken corner-kick by Gerald Phiri and leapt highest to plant a firm header into the nets.
However, Triangle, now under the guidance of Biggie Zuze, never showed any respect for their more experienced opponents as they took control in the first half and every attack they made looked dangerous.
In the 25th minute, Brian Juwayeyi came close, but his rising shot was tipped over by Caps United goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube.
The home team, however, cracked on 33 minutes after Tinei Chitora was allowed a free header in the danger zone to cancel Caps United’s lead.
Caps United, however, regrouped in the second half, with Dominic Mukandi making way for Phiri and centre-back Stephen Matuka came close two minutes into the second half, but Triangle defender Ronald Maketo raced to clear the lines.
On 55 minutes, substitute Mukandi watched in disappointment as his effort crashed against the upright post following a good set-up by Hardlife Zvirekwi. Caps United, however, sew up the tie with left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai deciding the contest with a stunning free-kick on the edge of the area which beat goalkeeper Ronald Mudimu and nestled into the far left corner of the post.
It was a great piece of technique.
Caps United coach Taurai Mangwiro was happy to collect maximum points at the National Sports Stadium having dropped points in their previous matches played at Gwanzura.
“We have been dropping points, but on our return to the National Sports Stadium we collected maximum points. We were playing a team which has a type of game almost similar to ours. We had a scare, but we managed to rescue the match. It was a game of two halves, they dominated the first half, but we reorganised in the second half and took control. It could have been three goals with a little bit of luck. We will now go into the match against Highlanders with confidence,” Mangwiro said.
The Caps United gaffer also praised his new signing Thindwa.
“Expectations were high, but he had a decent game in his first match. He will improve with each game,” he said.
Zuze praised his charges for their brave show.
“We are happy with the outcome. Caps are a big team, but we matched them. I think we handled the match very well. We have youngsters in the team and they did well.
“They managed to adjust to the playing surface which I think is too bad. I hope they show the same attitude in our next match,” Zuze said.