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TROUBLED CAPS United were lucky to snatch a vital away point against Buffaloes in a dull Castle Lager Premiership tie at Sakubva yesterday after the Harare side arrived not only late but also in batches as the on-going standoff between the players and the club’s executive rages on.

For a club that has such a rich history and currently owned by the Premiership’s chairman board of directors Twine Phiri, the long dragging financial woes at CAPS United are fast turning into a real bad aert for the domestic top-flight league.

Fuming expatriate CAPS United coach Mark Harrison, who confirmed that the team only regrouped yesterday just before leaving Harare since their mid-week tie against Hwange, had no kind words for the club’s leadership saying ‘the club is going through a moment of madness’.

“I guess given the circumstances that we find ourselves in, the players did really well. I last saw these players on Wednesday when we played the mid-week fixture against Hwange and we only met just before leaving Harare.

“They could not come for training as they protested against the leadership. We are owed a lot of money and one cannot just blame the players. They are doing quite well given the circumstances that they find themselves in.

The financial problems that we are facing are killing the club.

“Theoretically, the club has breached my contract. Theoretically, they have breached the players’ contracts. Everyday there is problem. We are fighting fires everyday and this is madness.

“I seriously want to stay and help the club achieve its goals but the situation is just not conducive,” Harrison said.

The Green Machine arrived at Sakubva at 1:50pm aboard their team bus but they were without their five key players — Hardlife Zvirekwi, Stephen Makatukwa, George Nyirenda, Dominic Mukandi and Gerald Phiri.

Apparently the quintet, who later arrived at 3:20pm in a white Toyota double cab, were in coach Harrison’s starting line up and joined their teammates in the changing rooms before the team trooped into the field of play without warming up.

The match then started at 3:29pm.

The dull encounter saw both teams creating clear cut scoring chances but somehow lacked precision in front of goal. CAPS United’s Gerald Phiri could have propelled his team into the lead after six minutes when his team won a free-kick after Buffaloes defender Philip Chandisaita handled just outside the box but Phiri blasted his effort way over the bar.

In the 23rd minute, CAPS United’s Calton Manzabwa clearly handled in the box and impressive Rusape referee Brighton Chimene made no mistake as he pointed to the spot.

Upstepped Buffaloes and Young Warriors’ defender Liberty Chakoroma but he missed the target by a few inches much to the disapproval of the home fans.

This is the second penalty that the Mutare side has missed while playing at home after former captain Jacob Muzokomba also failed to convert a penalty against Highlanders recently.

Talented Buffaloes defender Farai Banda almost gifted the visiting side a goal in the 31st minute after he handled in the box after a desperate effort to clear the ball.

The reigning Premiership Referee of the Year, Chimene, who rarely made a controversial call for the entire 94 minutes played, awarded a penalty to the visitors. CAPS United striker Roderick Mutuma took the penalty but his weak effort was punched out for a corner kick by an alert Buffaloes goalkeeper Blessing Mwandimutsira.

As the match progressed, both teams continued their search for a goal but none made a breakthrough.

Just like CAPS United striker Kudzai Nyamupfukudza whose 54th minute header hit the crossbar, Buffaloes’ Admire ‘Yaya’ Dzumbunu also rattled the crossbar with a blistering shot in the 68th minute.

Buffaloes coach Joseph ‘Shabba’ Takaringofa praised his team for playing according to instruction but bemoaned their failure to find the net.

“Once again we played well but somehow we failed to find the target. This has been happening in most of the matches we played so far. We are creating the chances but we are failing to score. I cannot really say I am not happy with the result given that CAPS United also played well and created their chances but they also failed to score.

“However, I am not happy with the way that CAPS United conducted themselves. The delays that we witnessed today are not good for football. It dampens the mood or morale. This is not what we expect from a team owned by the leaders of the league’s board of directors,” said Takaringofa.

Teams:

Buffaloes: B. Mwandimutsira K. Mangondo F. Banda L. Chakoroma P. Chandisaita J. Takunda (V. Makaha 28 minutes) R. Mwenga (P. Thembani 72nd minute) K. Juwakinyu (A. Dzumbunu 60th minute) H. Madzivanyika J. Muzokomba S. Nkhata:

CAPS United: C. Mverechena V. Musarurwa S. Mukatukwa C. Munzabwa D. Mukandi G. Nyirenda M. Muchenje H. Zvirekwi G. Phiri (R Matova 64th minute) K. Nyamupfukudza (T. Muskwe 75th minute) R. Mutuma (T. Moyo 70th minute):

Source : The Herald

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