By Sports Reporter
CAPS United moved to the top of the Premier Soccer League log with a hard fought 2-1 win over army side Black Rhinos at the National Sports Stadium on Wednesday after reigning champions FC Platinum were held to a 1-1 draw away to Hwange to surrender top position.
After suffering a shock 4-2 loss to Chapungu last weekend in interim coach Darlington Dodo’s first match in charge, Makepekepe were desperate to bounce back to winning ways against Black Rhinos.
And striker John Zhuwawu provided the much needed reprieve for Makepekepe after scoring an 85th minute winner which lifted them to the top of the log.
CAPS United had earlier taken the lead through striker Newman Sianchali in the 34th minute before Black Rhinos fought back to level matters in the 54th minute courtesy of Francesco Zikumbawire’s goal.
With the match seemingly headed for a stalemate, Zhuwawu restored the hosts’ lead with a header with only five minutes to full-time.
The win means CAPS United are now setting the pace at the top on 37 points from 21 matches, a point ahead of FC Platinum who have a game in hand.
FC Platinum surrendered their position at the top of the log after being held to a one-all draw by Hwange at the Colliery.
The Norman Mapeza coached side opened the scoring in the first minute through Perfect Chikwende before Ernest Gwitima equalised for Hwange from the spot five minutes into the second half.
FC Platinum finished the match with 10 men after Gift Mbwete was sent off after being shown a second yellow card in the 84th minute.
Meanwhile, rejuvenated Harare giants Dynamos survived a late Herentals surge to cling on to maximum points in a five goal thriller at Rufaro on Wednesday.
Dynamos enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 lead with three minutes to go before Herentals scored two quick goals through Brighton Majarira and a controversial penalty converted by goalkeeper Simbarashe Gondo to ensure a nail-biting finish to the tie.
Godknows Murwira had given Dynamos the lead inside 30 seconds with a thumping finish from inside the box before dreadlocked striker Evans Katema doubled the scores in the 20th minute.
In-form teenage sensation Nigel Katawa scored his second in three days poking home from close range a swinging Murwira corner kick at the beginning of the second half.
Murwira, who is currently enjoying life at Dynamos, was unlucky not to emerge with a double after his flick header from an Archford Gutu free kick crushed off the cross bar late in the first half.
Herentals offered very little in the game and seldom bothered Simbarashe Chinani in goals for Dembare throughout the match.
It was only after Majarira gave them a life line that the team came back to life.
The win saw Dynamos rise up the table to fifth with 32 points, five points behind new leaders CAPS United.
“It was a nervy finish. I am not sure about the penalty. From where I was, it didn’t look like a penalty but it put us under pressure. We started off very well in the first half and after we scored the first goal, I could see that the mentality was not right. We were a bit casual in everything,” coach Tonderai Ndiraya said after the match.
“It’s quite disappointing when you have a team that has a comfortable lead and then you finish the match the way we did today. I am quite happy with the result but the performance is not really what I wanted,” he added.
Ndiraya’s charges brought Herentals’ six match unbeaten run to an end.
Currently sitting in 11th place, Herentals are looking to pull further away from the relegation zone and have a difficult encounter away to Ngezi Platinum on Sunday.
ZPC Kariba also ascended into third place on the ladder after beating Bulawayo Chief 3 – 0 at home while Chicken Inn sit fourth following a crucial 2 – 0 home win over Ngezi Platinum.
Relegation threatened newcomers Telone FC won their first league match in 14 attempts with a thumping 4 – 1 victory over second from bottom Yadah FC to ignite hopes of survival.
ZPC Kariba 3-0 Bulawayo Chiefs, Telone 4-1 Yadah, Herentals 2-3 Dynamos, Chicken Inn 2-0 Ngezi Platinum, Hwange 1-1 FC Platinum, Caps United 2-1 Black Rhinos, Mushowani 2-2 Manica Diamonds