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CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro demanded more from his strikers as the Harare giants made a slow start to their Castle Lager Premiership season campaign after drawing with newboys ZPC Kariba at Gwanzura yesterday. Makepekepe had to come from behind after their former player Pride Tafirenyika had given the visitors the lead just 10 minutes into the game before Dominic Chungwa rose from the bench to salvage a point late in the second half.

Chungwa scored a beautiful goal with 20 minutes remaining on the clock but Mangwiro had expected a better performance from his team, which struggled to keep the ball flowing especially in the first half when they appeared to lose the midfield battles.

ZPC Kariba coach Saul Chaminuka, who worked as Mangwiro’s assistant at the Green Machine last year before moving to Kariba during the off-season, started with four former CAPS United players — Tawanda Munyanduri, David Rediyoni, Tawanda Nyamandwe and Tafirenyika — in his team and it looked like their knowledge of the former club worked to their aantage.

However, signs of the pre-season rust were showing on the two sides and it looked like CAPS United would not recover after conceding early when their defenders were beaten to an aerial ball by Tafirenyika who jumped high and planted a header into the back of the nets from a corner kick.

Both teams lacked purpose at times but the Green Machine still looked the better side going forward though their finishing was not up to scratch.

CAPS United fluffed some good scoring opportunities especially in the second half.

Their striker Leonard Fiyado could have given them the aantage with their first chance of the game which came after only two minutes. Fiyado however, shook his head in shame after getting to the end of a high ball over the ZPC Kariba defenders and then, with the keeper to beat, he somehow literally passed the ball to the aancing goalkeeper Tendai Hove.

The former Gunners player had a chance to redeem himself in the 37th minute when he raced into the penalty box and created some space for himself. Just when he was about to shoot, ZPC Kariba leftback Dexter Phiri emerged from nowhere and made a crucial sliding tackle to push the ball out for corner.

Chances were few and far between the other end of goal where CAPS United’s Tafadzwa Dube appeared the less busier of the two goalkeepers.

Makepekepe returned from the break more determined to find the equaliser but they quickly lost their striker Tongai Magwendere who was stretchered out injured after colliding with the goalkeeper while challenging for an aerial ball in the 48th.

CAPS United dominated play in the second half but they could not convert the chances that came their way. The introduction of Chungwa, who replaced Fiyado, appeared to boost their attack and after a series of raids they got it right in the 70th minute. Chungwa controlled under some tight marking inside the box and then placed the ball beyond the reach of the goalkeeper to bring Makepekepe back into the game as the supporters suddenly burst into life.

Malawian import Gerald Phiri then forced a suicidal save from the visitors’ goalkeeper who stretched to the limit, injuring himself in the process, to punch out a rising shot that was meant for the top corner in the 78th minute.

Phiri had earlier missed a good chance when he failed to keep his header down from a cross by Charles Mukanhairi on the left flank.

CAPS United coach Mangwiro felt he still has to work hard on the finishing as they prepare for their next match against Harare City.

“We controlled the match and we got at least three or four good chances in the first half but somehow we had some problems in the midfield. We came back with some remedies in the second half but we couldn’t make full use of the chances we got.

“Our finishing has been a problem since last season and it still remains a grey area but we are not losing hope. We will continue working hard to work with the players and one day we will get it right. We would have wanted all three points. It’s disappointing but the future looks bright, though,” said Mangwiro.

His opposite number Chaminuka was satisfied with the away point as he felt his team was not adequately prepared for the start of the season.

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Teams

CAPS United: T. Dube, T. Khumbuyani, R. Pfumbidzai, B. Zabula, S. Makatuka, T. Samanja, C. Mukanhairi, G. Phiri, P. Zimunya (G. Mangani, 71st minute), L. Fiyado (D. Chungwa, 59th minute), T. Magwendere (M. Muchenje, 53rd minute)

ZPC Kariba: T. Hove, N. Togara, D. Phiri, D. Danda, O. Mwerahari, T. Munyanduri, P. Tafirenyika (T. Ranthokoane, R. Manuvire, D. Rediyoni (L. Chikafa, 63rd minute), T. Nyamandwe (C. Masocha, 59th minute)

Source : The Herald

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