Flying start for Green Machine

Source: Flying start for Green Machine | The Herald

Flying start for Green Machine
WELL-OILED MACHINE . . . CAPS United midfielder Blessing Sarupinda (right) shoots on target for his team’s second goal after beating Manica Diamonds defender Liberty Chakoroma to the ball in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday. — Picture by Lee Maidza.

Tadious Manyepo-Sports Reporter

CAPS United . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  (2) 2

Manica Diamonds . . . . . . . . . . . . .  0

CAPS United made a firm statement of intent with this Castle Lager Premier Soccer League opening day victory over Manica Diamonds at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

An early goal by Joseph Thulani, who would be red-carded for a crude tackle late in the second half, and another strike by Blessing Sarupinda just before the half time whistle, secured maximum points for the Green Machine.

Makepekepe played with both conviction and aplomb as they gave their supporters hope and belief that this season could be theirs.

The feel good story was made complete by the fact that they strode on top of the log standings, above FC Platinum, Dynamos and Triangle, given they scored twice and kept a clean sheet.

Coach Lloyd Chitembwe deployed a 4-4-2 formation with Godknows Murwira and Innocent Zambezi occupying the wingbacks while Ben Musaka and Kelvin Madzongwe twinned at the heart of defence.

Murwira was an immediate hero as he acquitted himself well on debut after leaving crosstown rivals Dynamos at the end of last year.

The former Ngezi Platinum man provided a firm cross that was fumbled by veteran Manica Diamonds goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo and Thulani squeezed home the rebound.

Makepekepe were comfortable on the ball with Devon Chafa and Zambezi especially impressive as the Harare giants provided the entertainment which local football has long been clamouring for.

Clive Rupiya and Joseph both came close to doubling the hosts’ advantage as Makepekepe threatened to run riot.

It was Sarupinda though, who sliced home after receiving a perfectly lofted pass from Madzongwe at the stroke of half time.

Once the Green Machine cushioned themselves, they became conservative in the second period as they seemed content to keep the scoreline at 2-0.

Manica Diamonds coach Jairos Tapera made a trio of substitutes with Talent Chamboko, Brett Amidu and Fortune Binzi coming on at the resumption.

In terms of possession, the visitors dominated but Makepekepe absorbed every threat thrown at them.

Chitembwe expressed satisfaction at the manner in which his charges carried themselves in both halves.

“I thought it was a very good performance from my own view point.

“I think the performance gives credibility to our performance and I am extremely happy.

“The team really wanted it, the hunger was evident,” said Chitembwe.

“The second half performance, in which we engaged low gears, was deliberate. There is no way that one team can dominate for the entire 90 minutes.

“We knew after getting what we wanted in the first half, we didn’t need to play like we were chasing the game in the second half.

“We knew doing that was going to leave us vulnerable.

“With a two-goal advantage going into the second half, we didn’t want to risk leaving a lot of gaps behind.

“We did that with the hope of also catching them on the counter and I am extremely happy with how the players applied themselves.

“If anything, I am very happy with our second half performance since we got the job done in the first.”

His Manica Diamonds counterpart Tapera felt the early goal which Thulani scored in the third minute unsettled his players.

“I thought the first goal came too early for us.

“That disrupted our game plan and we were forced to venture forward more in search of an equaliser,” said Tapera.

“But they then got a second goal which made it even more difficult for us.

“We tried to come back into the match in the second half, dominating proceedings but lady luck wasn’t on our side as well.”


 CAPS United

Tonderai Mateyaunga, Godknows Murwira, Innocent Zambezi, Kelvin Madzongwe, Ben Musaka, Devon Chafa, Blessing Sarupinda (Hastings Chapusha 88th min), Phineas Bamusi, Clive Rupiya (Josiah Daka 79th min), Joseph Thulani, William Manondo

 Manica Diamonds

Jorum Muchambo, Lawrence Masibhera, Brian Chikwenya, Kelvin Gwao, Liberty Chakoroma, Trevor Mavhunga, Jeffrey Takunda (Pascal Manhanga 46th min) Donald Ngoma (Charles Teguru 59th min), Michael Tapera (Brett Amidu 46th min), Gerald Bero (Fortune Binzi 59th min) Ralph Kawondera (Talent Chamboko 46th min)