Caps United 4-0 Highlanders
CAPS United gained sweet revenge over a depleted Highlanders when they crushed the Bulawayo giants 4-0 at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday to keep their premier league title hopes alive.
The massive win kept them in third place with 45 points, two off second placed ZPC Kariba and leaders Dynamos who both won their weekend matches against Triangle and Buffaloes (1-0) respectively.
It was Highlanders third league defeat in a row after they went down 1-0 to Harare City and 3-1 at home to ZPC Kariba that eventually led to the resignation of Zambian coach Kelvin Kaindu.
It was sweet revenge for Caps coach Taurai Mangwiro who saw Caps massacred by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture.
“We played well. We controlled the match early and we managed to convert the early chances that came out way. That helped us to maintain our composure. We are still in the race but we will take each match as it comes and not put pressure on the players.
“But I am impressed with the attitude of the players. They did very well. Scoring four goals against Highlanders is not easy,” Mangwiro said in his post-match comments.
Caps were off the blocks as early as the fifth minute when Ishmael Thindwa bundled home from close range from a corner as Highlanders struggled to clear their lines.
Another set piece that Bosso failed to defend, delivered by Ronald Pfumbidzai and directed home by Nicholas Alifandika in the 10th minute, saw Caps lead 2-0 and threaten to run away with a netball scoreline win.
It was 3-0 in the 22nd minute when Dumisani Ndlovu, under no pressure at all, whistled an unstoppable shot past his own keeper Njabulo Nyoni as he tried to clear a Hardlife Zvirekwi cross from the right.
The second half was a damage limitation exercise from Bosso as they plugged the holes in midfield and wings and defended the Caps set pieces well. But they were caught on the break in the 75th when Kelvin Bulaji headed home unmarked inside the box from a cross on the right and that sealed Bosso’s fate.
After the match, Bosso coach Mark Mathe tried to wear a brave face.
“We are still in the race. There are still 15 points to play for and we can win the title,” he said.
But as he headed back to the dressing rooms, he was to find an angry group of fans demanding his head, after yet another terrible performance from Highlanders. Mathe had engineered Highlanders’ 4-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Barbourfields, but seemed short of ideas on Sunday.Advertisement
He benched skipper Arial Sibanda in favour of the ageing Njabulo Nyoni and brought back problem child Mthulisi Maphosa, who had spent the whole week fighting assault charges in the courts in Bulawayo.
Charles Sibanda, who has scored 12 goals this season, was playing too wide on the left and rarely threatened the Caps defence.
In other games Shabanie Mine beat Chapungu 1-0 at Maglas as they continued their fight against relegation through a Xolani Ncube goal.
Saturday: Chicken Inn 2-0 Black Rhinos (Hartsfield Stadium), Chiredzi 0-1 Bantu Rovers (Chishamiso Stadium), Harare City 0-2 FC Platinum ( Rufaro Stadium), ZPC Kariba 1-0 Triangle United (Gwanzura Stadium).
Sunday: Buffaloes o-1 Dynamos (Sakubva Stadium), Caps United 4-0 Highlanders (NSS), Shabanie Mine 1-0 Chapungu (Maglas Stadium), Hwange 1-2 How Mine (Colliery Stadium).