CAPS United suffered an unexpected 2-0 defeat by Defence Forces Select side at the National Sports Stadium on Tuesday.
The Green Machine who are in second place in the premiership race behind FC Platinum were missing almost eight regular players as the coaches chose to give some squad members who have not been getting regular game time, including Archieford Gutu, a run.
Gutu has struggled to get into the starting team since joining Caps United when he returned from Sweden and even had to start from the bench on Tuesday.
But any hopes of United had of landing their first silverware of the season were dashed as the Defence Forces Select side, comprising players drawn from the army teams with the majority of them from division one side Black Rhinos, never showed any respect for their more illustrious opponents.
Yet it was the Green Machine who could have surged ahead thirteen minutes into the match but Valentine Musarurwa missed a good opportunity following a wonderful cross by Amon Kambanje.
The Maronga Nyangela-coached Select side however profited from a horrendous mistake by Devon Chafa whose intended back pass was intercepted by Black Rhinos forward Vincent Mhandu who beat goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo to put his lead team into the lead on the quarter hour.
But as Caps United sought to bounce back, Kambanje who had a good show forced goalkeeper Herbert Rusawo to tip over a speculative shot.
United coach Lloyd Chitembwe then pulled off Devon Chafa and threw on Gutu in the second half but the former Dynamos man appeared to struggle in midfield and, judging by his performance, if he is to play a part in the championship race, he has to work extra hard.
It was the Defence Forces Select side that benefited instead with veteran Chapungu forward Philip Marufu sealing victory with a faboulous strike, turning his marker before unleashing a shot that nestled into the nets.
Chitembwe also gave Edmore ‘Zikeeper’ Sibanda a run as a field player after coming in place of Zvikomborero Biserk but the damage had already been done.
The Defence Forces Select side pocketed $7,000 for winning the trophy while Caps United walked away with $5,000 for their efforts.
Caps United assistant coach Fungai Kwashi said they were not reading much into the match as it gave them the opportunity to try some of the players who have not been getting game time.Advertisement
His counterpart Nyangela said he was happy to get back the trophy won by Dynamos last season.