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CAPS United, Bosso share spoils in thriller

by Staff reporter
21 Mar 2022 at 06:36hrs | Views
Caps United 1 – 1 Highlanders
HARARE fading giants Caps United gave away an opportunity to stretch their winning streak following a disappointing second-half performance against traditional football rivals Highlanders in a Castle Lager Premiership match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

Makepekepe, who had won their previous two matches on the trot, looked on course for another victory after Clive Augosto had put them ahead in the first-half, in which they enjoyed a slight edge over the visitors.

But the game turned around completely in the second-half. Bosso's man-of-the-moment Nqobizitha Masuku ensured a share of the spoils with an exquisitely taken free-kick in the 75th minute.

Makepekepe survived a flurry of attacks late on and a point was fair on them although their coach Lloyd Chitembwe felt they deserved more from this game.

"Firstly I want to congratulate both sets of players. It was a very good show. They gave it their all and if we can get these kind of performances in our football, I think we could have a good league. I'm very impressed.

"But from the result's point of view, I'm a bit disappointed because we were leading. We were poised for the three points. But in the second-half we kept dropping a bit and when you do that it becomes very difficult. You will be inviting your opponents close to your goal and one mistake you get punished.

"This is what happened, especially with their goal. We couldn't recover at that moment. I also want to congratulate Nqobizitha, he did well in all aspects and I thought it was a well executed free-kick.

"It had all the aspects of a great goal, if you look at the trajectory of the shot and also the technique used; you look at the speed of the football. I thought it was a well-executed goal.

"At the end of the day, we take the point and we are happy going forward. But we are also a bit disappointed. We were looking forward to our sixth match without conceding and to concede a goal that way was disappointing. I wouldn't want to falter anyone. It was just that day when we were not meant to win," said Chitembwe.

His opposite number Mandla "Lulu" Mpofu was full of praises for his charges, for the way they turned around the game in the second-half.

"I can't complain as a coach after getting a point playing a team like Caps United, who are a championship material if you look at them. They're a strong team with experience.

"Then again I thought it was going to be a game of mistakes. Any team that would make a mistake was going to lose and we tried to limit them especially in the first-half when they didn't have any shot on target except for the goal they scored.

"So I must say, it was a game of two halves. They did their job in the first-half but we did ours in the second. We came back even stronger, made some changes and we looked very dangerous.

"And I thought we could've scored in the open play from the chances we created and I must say I'm happy with the lads. They're gelling," said Mpofu.

Bosso have had a slow start this season and are currently 11th in the log standings with nine points from seven games. Makepekepe, on the other hand, appear to have put their poor start behind them after harvesting seven points from their last three games to take their overall tally to 11 points in eight outings.

The Green Machine welcomed back defender Valentine Musarurwa and the left back started in back three that also featured Kelvin Bulaji and Dennis Dauda.

They enjoyed knocking the ball around with smart build ups from the back but goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga nearly made a fatal blunder with less than 10 minutes played when he slipped while trying to dribble Bosso striker Stanley Ngala.

He, however, recovered quickly and pushed the ball away from danger. Bosso maintained their shape and kept prodding the Caps United defence, with Divine Mhindirira and Masuku pulling the strings in the midfield.

But then the game turned in Makepekepe's favour when Augosto thrust the home team into the lead after 21 minutes. The forward tapped in from close range a low cross from Phenias Bamusi, who had rushed into the penalty area from the left flank after the Bosso defenders had failed to deal with a free kick taken from the other flank.

Bosso players led by their skipper and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda were unhappy with the goal as they felt the free-kick that was awarded to speedy winger Ian Nyoni was not deserved.

Bosso had their own appeals for penalty turned down in the 41st minute after Mhindirira was hacked at the edge of the box. He had dribbled past Musarurwa but Tatenda Tavengwa stood in his way with a foul challenge that sent the Bosso midfielder sprawling inside the box, and prompting his teammates to up their voices in the call for a penalty.

However, the referee awarded Bosso a free-kick, which was punched out to safety by Mateyaunga, and Tavengwa escaped with a yellow card.

Bosso returned from the breather with clear intentions. They wanted a goal and they worked hard for it. Defender Peter Muduhwa found himself in unfamiliar position and had two shots inside the penalty box intercepted before Masuku blazed his short over from another good build up.

Caps United simply did not turn up for the second half and Bosso threw everything at their hosts, with Adrian Silla suddenly finding his mojo in the midfield.

Makepekepe coach Chitembwe sought to plug in the gaps on his defence by pulling out skipper Ronald Chitiyo and throwing onto the fray former national team defender Jimmy Dzingai in the 58th minute.

The game nearly degenerated into chaos with about 20 minutes remaining as Bosso players mobbed the blundering referee, disputing a wrong corner kick decision which was later given in their favour.

There was hope for Bosso when Caps United conceded a free kick in a dangerous area after Silla was felled outside the penalty arc.

Masuku stepped up and somehow found a gap past the wall to beat the goalkeeper with a powerful shot in the 75th minute. This was his fourth goal for Bosso this season, and a third from the dead ball.

Bosso could have stolen it when substitute Washington Navaya broke loose in a counter attack on the right but Mateyaunga made a critical save in the 90th minute.

Caps United: T. Mateyaunga, K. Bulaji, V. Musarurwa, T. Tavengwa, R. Chitiyo (J. Dzingai, 58th minute) I. Nyoni (J. Tulani, 53rd minute), P. Bhamusi, R. Chitiyo, R. Chinyengetere, E. Manondo, C. Augosto (E. Karembo, 74th minute).
Highlanders: A. Sibanda, A. Tandi, A. Mbeba. P. Mpelele, P. Muduhwa, N. Masuku, B. Sibanda (W. Navaya, 50th minute), A. Silla, D. Mhindirira, R. Kutsanzira, S. Ngala

Source - The Chronicle
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