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Caps United beat Zamalek

by Staff reporter
03 Jul 2017 at 06:45hrs | Views
Caps Utd  3 – 1 Zamalek
ABBAS AMIDU once again proved to be a man for the big occasion yesterday with a beautiful brace as an impressive Caps United floored five-time African champions Zamalek at the National Sports Stadium to keep alive their Caf Champions League hopes.

The Green Machine, who had experienced a slump in recent weeks, chose the big stage against the Egyptian giants to turn on the show, and win this pressure game, which meant Group B will be decided on the final day of the matches on Sunday.

Abbas has now scored three goals against giants who have been crowned champions of the continent 10 times with his goal in Lubumbashi, against five-time African champions TP Mazembe, crucial in eliminating the Congolese side.

Makepekepe can now secure a place in the quarter-finals with a victory over USM Alger in Algiers on Sunday irrespective of what happens in the other game between Zamalek and Al Ahli Tripoli.

The Green Machine, who have now scored nine goals in their last four Champions League matches, at an average of more than two goals per game, can have every reason to believe.

Reports in the Egyptian media yesterday said Zamalek Portuguese coach Augusto Inacio threw in the towel just after yesterday's defeat.

He becomes the second European coach to lose his job this year, because of an indifferent result against Caps United, after Frenchman Thierry Froger was sacked by TP Mazembe in the wake of their elimination by the Green Machine.

Yesterday, Amidu struck twice in the last 15 minutes, with quality goals pregnant with both technique and venom, to win the game for his team.

Abbas' double deflated the pressure in a tense finish after Zamalek's Nigerian import Stanley Owahuchi had cancelled out Ronald-PFumbidzai 31st minute goal with a powerful shot just before the half-time whistle.

Caps United assistant coach Fungai Tostao Kwashi yesterday said the win over five-time Africa champions was a big boost ahead of their trip to Algeria this week.

"Great result for Caps United. It was a big win. This was probably one of the biggest games of the year. We needed this and like I said yesterday, it's all about teamwork starting from Mr (Farai) Jere through to Mr (Nhamo) Tutani's board and to our coach Lloyd Chitembwe and the team.

"Like I always say Chitembwe is the best coach we have in the country, in Africa and in the world and today the result is not only for him and Caps United but for Zimbabwe.

"It was a great game for us. The guys worked hard for each other. It was all about team work. You could notice from the first half that everyone was there for each other.

"They wanted to win it for the club and for all the people who support Caps United and, of course, for Zimbabwe. So the team is the star.

"David needed only one stone to kill Goliath, Hannah needed only one child to silence Peninah. We had two games left and six points at stake. Minus this game it's now one game to go. So the situation we find ourselves in is that we have to go for three points.

"There are no more excuses. Yes, it was a tough game and next week it will be another game. We don't take anything for granted.

"We respect Alger, they are a good side but after today's victory we are also upbeat,'' said Kwashi.

After losing so much ground in the last two matches which they lost back-to-back to Al Ahli Tripoli, Makepekepe had to find their touch yesterday and they did so in style.

Midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike was at his usual best and always causing problems to the bigger opponents each time he was in possession.

Goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba, playing his first Champions League match for his side ahead of Jorum Muchambo and the injured Edmore Sibanda, made a good save in the 21st minute when Owahuchi broke loose and unleashed a grounder.

The hosts took the initiative when-PFumbidzai managed to spot an opening in a crowded box and buried a low shot into the bottom corner.

But Owahuchi brought the visitors level when he took advantage of a poor tracking by Carlton Munzabwa and Justice Jangano and although the advancing 'keeper managed to block the ball it still had enough power to wheel into the nets despite a spirited chase back by Jangano.

Abbas however, was always a bundle of energy upfront as he fought for every ball and pressing the Egyptians in their own half.

With exactly 15 minutes remaining on the clock, Abbas controlled a pass from Ronald Chitiyo and with power and precision tucked the ball home to put the hosts back on top.

The finishing was tense for Makepekepe until the last of the three minutes of added time when they were forced to defend two corner kicks in succession and then Abbas ran half the length of the pitch and beat the 'keeper with power and precision for the killer goal.

"When you are a striker and sometimes when you go for games without a goal you lose your confidence. But we told him keep your head up, keep getting into those spaces, stay in the box, your chance will come and thank God those chances fell on him and he delivered with a brace,'' said Kwashi.

''A great game for him. He deserved everything that he got today.''

Teams
Caps Utd: P. Chigumba, H. Zvirekwi, R.-PFumbidzai, J. Jangano, C. Munzabwa, D. Chafa, M. Muchenje, R. Chitiyo, A. Abbas, Bamusi, T. Rusike (Nyamupfukudza, 82nd min)

Zamalek: A. Elshanaway, S. Elmoghazy (Abdalla, 39th min), M. Abdelrahman (Moustafa, 79th min), M. Attia, A. Gabr, I. Gad (A. Salama, 64th min), A. Tawfik, S. Ohawuchi, M. Fadlala, M. Yusuf, H. Hassan

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