CAPS United 0-0 Ngezi Platinum
CAPS UNITED coach Lloyd Chitembwe has defended his charges after the Green Machine registered yet another draw in this Castle Lager Premier Soccer league tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The result meant Makepekepe have drawn all their four opening matches this season. In perspective, the CAPS United missed a huge opportunity to significantly reduce the gap between themselves and surprise leaders Manica Diamonds.
But practically, it’s a team that did well to neutralise a better prepared opponent who is actually one of the favourites to win the title. It’s a team which had just eight registered players training ahead of the resumption of the league two weeks ago.
It’s a team that only managed to assemble players just two days before they played their rearranged match-day three against Black Rhinos last week.
It’s a team that has been facing collapse given the teething financial problems that has been threatening even its mere existence. And a week after a 1-1 draw against Rhinos in Mutare, Makepekepe looked very much improved in their tactical application despite managing just a single shot on target in yesterday’s match.
“I thought it was a good game from the boys. The players were excellent considering that we never had pre-season unlike these teams who have been forever preparing,” said Chitembwe.
“From that perspective, I thought it was a good game of football from my boys considering the way they applied themselves. Of course you could tell the sharpness is not yet there, obviously what brings that sharpness is by putting more hours, more days, more weeks in training repeating the same things over and over. That is how we can get the things together.
“You can’t falter the boys for the effort. They gave it their all, it’s a team that needs some areas to be worked on.
“It’s a team that has the potential to improve and the capacity to perform well and win matches. I am very satisfied.
“I am a football coach, I talk from a practical point of view.
We still have 34 games to go, we have only played four games. Looking at my team, you can’t falter anyone given and you can imagine if these guys can give you this kind of performance given they have only trained for two weeks.
Imagine if they had trained for the normal six weeks in preparation for the games. . .
“We are in the right direction, so far so good. We still have time to catch up with the rest of the teams.”
The visitors controlled the match in all aspects from start to finish.
They should have taken the lead as early as the 12th minute when Valentine Kadonzvo, unmarked just outside the box directed his effort over Simba Chinani’s goal post. Moments later, Delic Murimba shot tamely at Chinani before captain Qadr Amini was presented with arguably the game’s best chance.
The former FC Platinum star was however, flat-footed and he reacted a bit slow to Kadonzvo’s pass which he could only direct wide. At the other end, Makepekepe, deploying a three-man attack, William Manondo and Phenias Bamusi playing wide of Clive Augusto were finding it difficult to breach a Carlos Mavhurume-marshalled defence.
In one rare foray, Devon Chafa, just like Mavhurume at the opposite side, facing his former employers for the first time, saw his long-range grass-cutter missing the upright.
The second phase witnessed the same script and both teams seemed content to sit back and rather share the spoils.
Play was mainly concentrated in midfield where each team had five players.
Ngezi Platinum caretaker coach, Takesure Chiragwi who is standing for the suspended Rodwell Dhlakama expressed satisfaction with how his boys played. Had the Mhondoro team won, they could have climbed on top of the standings but Chiragwi said he was satisfied with the draw.
“I thought we did very well especially playing away from home.
“We were playing against a well organised team. But I think we applied ourselves well tactically and there are moments when we had numerical advantage when attacking,” said Chiragwi.
Ngezi Platinum remained third on the log with eight points, a single point behind Manica Diamonds and second-placed FC Platinum while Makepekepe rose two rungs up to 11th.
Simbarashe Chinani, Dennis Dauda, Kenneth Bulaji, Joseph Tulani, Valentine Musarurwa, Tatenda Tavengwa, Phenias Bamusi, Rodwell Chinyengetere (Ian Nyoni 84mins), Clive Augusto, William Manondo(Ronald Chitiyo 70 mins), Devon Chafa
Nelson Chadya, Valentine Kadonzvo (Marlon Mushonga 64mins), Qadr Amini, Polite Moyo, Carlos Mavhurume, Kudzai Chigwida, Marvellous Mukumba, Anelka Chivandire(Marlven Kwinjo 77mins), Denver Mukamba(Last Jesi 77mins) , Bruno Mtigo, Delic Murimba
Article Source: The Chronicle