CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League champions, Caps United’s preparations for the Confederations of African Football (Caf) Champions League first round tie against Democratic Republic of Congo champions TP Mazembe received a morale boost after their win against bitter rivals Dynamos in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Charity Shield quarterfinal match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday. BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Caps United . . . . . .(2) 3
Dynamos . . . . . . . .(1) 1
The Green Machine travel to Kinshasa next week for the first leg, and were using the match to test their readiness ahead of the tough trip.
And they did it with a comfortable victory over their long standing adversaries.
An own goal by Wisdom Mutasa, and a glancing header by Leonard Tsipa, unregistered for the Champions league, put the Green Machine on their way and Dominic Chungwa fired in the third in the second half, after Denver Mukamba had given Dynamos hope with a delightful chip into an empty net towards halftime after a mistake by Caps United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda.
Caps United, without fullbacks Hardlife Zvirekwi and Ronald Pfumbidzai, fielded their regulars, most of whom played against Lesotho Champions Lioli in the Champions League previous round, while Dynamos, who are on a rebuilding exercise following the departure of several players, started with a largely youthful side.
The Lloyd Chitembwe-coached side, who started their preparations earlier than their erstwhile adversaries, were in control from the start of the match as expected, and Simba Nhivi missed a good opportunity on eight minutes when his low shot was tipped away by DeMbare goalkeeper, Reyners.
But their persistence paid off on 25 minutes when Tsipa’s header crashed against the bar from a well-delivered free kick by Nhivi and the rebound deflected on Mutasa’s legs to find its way into the nets.
After the goal, Caps United, with three former Dynamos players in their first 11, kept on piling pressure and on 30 minutes they were two goals to the good.
Tsipa found himself with acres of space in the penalty area following a wonderful delivery from the right by Nhivi, who had been set up by Ronald Chitiyo to head past the exposed goalkeeper.
However, the two goals appeared to give the Glamour Boys a boost, as they threw everything at their opponents and on 32 minutes, they pulled one back. Mukamba’s quick thinking saw him finishing off with a deft chip after a poor clearance by Sibanda, following a back pass by Valentine Musarurwa.
The goal gave Dynamos hope, as they carved out some good chances.
In the second half, Ocean Mushure was fortunate not to be sent off for pushing Dominic Chungwa off the ball in the penalty area, as he charged for goal, with referee Ruzive Ruzive giving the striker a yellow card for simulation.
But Chungwa, who came in for an injured Tsipa in the 61st minute, scored the insurance goal for the Green Machine, when his shot deflected off the legs of a defender to wrong foot Reyners.
Chitembwe was pleased with the victory. “It’s good for us. Football is about goals and we are happy. Last week we scored two and today we scored three and we are happy. It’s not just about Dynamos, but just to get the opportunity to play a match is valuable for us as we prepare for TP Mazembe,” he said.
His counterpart, Lloyd Mutasa said it was unfortunate that they lost the match. But he drew some positives from the match.
“It’s unfortunate that we lost the match. But we are looking at the bigger picture. We drew some positives from it (the match) and in terms of match fitness the guys are almost 90% and I am sure by April 1 we will be ready. It’s work in progress, the team is gelling,” Mutasa said.
Caps United: E Sibanda, Z Biserk, V Musarurwa, J Jangano, D Dauda, D Chafa, C Kamhapa,(M Muchenje 46), R Chitiyo,(T Rusike 57), P Bhamusi, S Nhivi, L Tsipa (D Chungwa 61),
Dynamos: A Reyners, O Mushure, K Saunyama, M Machazani, E Muroiwa, P Makaha, V Ndaba,(C Kapupurika (85min), D Mukamba, (M Mambare 65), W Mutasa (K Nasama 85), T Sadiki, P Makaha