CAPS United surrendered a first half lead to settle for a 1-1 draw against Hwange in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at Rufaro on Sunday.
However, there was chaos outside the main VIP entrance to the stadium with angry fans questioning Coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s decision to rely on goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo whom they thought was responsible for the late goal they conceded.
The fans also questioned why the coach would use just one substitute at home-Archieford Gutu-who came in for Simba Nhivi on 65 minutes.
The result left the Green Machine in third place with 25 points-just five ahead of city rivals Dynamos who overcame Bulawayo City 1-0 on Saturday.
The Harare giants, who switched to Rufaro from their traditional home ground –the National Sports Stadium, dominated the first half in which they carved out good chances. But their finishing was poor with Dominic Chungwa missing a good opportunity following a set up by Tafadzwa Rusike after seven minutes.
Hwange also had a good chance on twenty three minutes but Innocent Muchaneta directed his effort wide from near the penalty area.
But the home team went into the lead after 28 minutes from an unlikely source- defender Justice Jangano-who spotted Hwange goalkeeper Future Sibanda out of his line and unleashed a high ball that beat the backpedalling goalkeeper to find its way into the net.
The goal illuminated the stadium as Caps United fans broke into song and dance. However, that lead proved temporary as Hwange Coach, Mebelo Njekwa, made tactical substitutions, bringing in Pervington Zimunya for Gilbert Zulu on 55 minutes and within four minutes he watched in disappointment after directing his effort just wide.
Chitembwe then hauled off Nhivi and threw in Gutu on 65 minutes.
Moments later, Tafadzwa Rusike’s powerful shot drew a fine save from Sibanda, forcing Njekwa to make another substitution with Craven Banda making way for Farai Vimisayi.
The visitors continued to pile on the pressure, forcing Caps United to defend deep in their own half. On 84 minutes, Zimunya won possession, turned his marker before directing the ball to the far left for the equaliser.
After the goal, Hwange were the better side, threatening with some fine raids. And Joel Ngodzo had a good chance to seal victory at the stroke of full time but his effort went over the bar.Advertisement
Chitembwe said his charges played well in the first half and lost shape in the last quarter.
“I thought in the first half it was an excellent performance but all the same the most important thing was to wrap up the match. We told the guys that we needed the insurance goal but unfortunately we made some lapses in concentration and I thought we lost our shape and conceded the goal. But I hope in the next game we will get it right,” said Chitembwe.
Njekwa said: “One all it ended; its so great for us looking at our situation where we played on Sunday, Wednesday and Sunday. We played three matches in seven days. Fatigue was on our side due to travelling but I applaud my guys, they played according to instructions and they nearly made it.
“I brought in a young team, the experienced players had played in all those matches we thought let’s leave them behind and bring in the youngsters and they made it. Great to get a point after playing second fiddle in the first half but looking at Caps United they undermined the youngsters and thought they had done it but football is played on the pitch and in 90 minutes.”
In other matches played on Sunday, Moses Chunga’s Harare City were beaten by bottom side Border Strikers 1-0 while Triangle overcame Tsholostho 1-0.
CAPS: J Muchambo, H Zvirekwi, J Jangano, S Makatuka, M Mwanjale, M vMuchenje, J Ngodzo, T Rusike, P Bhamusi, S Nhivi (A Gutu 65), D Chungwa
Hwange: F Sibanda, P Dube, P Mpelele, A Tshuma, M Mungadze, C Muleya, A Banda, I Muchaneka, G Zulu( P Zimunya 55), G Mbwezi, C Banda (F