Caps United……… 0
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe was conspicuous by his absence when the Green Machine closed their Premier Soccer League season with a dull goalless draw against airmen Chapungu at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Chitembwe’s absence fuelled speculation that he is on his way out of the club and is eyeing a move to league runners-up Ngezi Platinum next season.
There were calls for the sacking of the 2016 championship-winning coach from some sections of Caps United fans following last week’s 4-1 drubbing at the hands of relegated Bulawayo City.
Assistant coach Nelson Matongorere dismissed the speculation behind Chitembwe’s no-show.
“He was not feeling well today, so he thought there was no reason to sit on the bench when you cannot bark instructions. But he is still the coach, nothing has changed. There is no other reason,” he said.
In a match watched by about 200 fans, Makepekepe failed to conclude the season with a victory. In fact, the club has struggled to win matches in the second half of the season.
They won four times, drew seven matches and suffered six defeats in 17 games.
Makepekepe have won only one of their last nine matches in the league.
Yesterday they were unlucky not to win.
Joel Ngodzo’s shot from the edge of the box clipped the outside of the upright post and went out for a corner halfway through the first half.
Lady luck seemed in no mood to smile at the hosts after they were denied by the upright post a second time late in the half.
Kelvin Ndebele, showing great control to break on the left side, launched a perfectly flighted cross and picked out Abasirim Chidiebere, whose effort from close range beat the goalkeeper, but not the upright post.
There was still time in the second half for Chapungu’s Ian Nyoni to test Chris Mverechena, who did his best to parry away a rising shot.
Young Tinotenda Chiunye stung Talbert Shumba’s hands early in the second half as Caps United continued to dominate the exchanges.
The introduction of the ageless Phillip Marufu seemed to spur Chapungu, but still they failed to fashion clear-cut chances.
A speculative shot by Jams Jam whistled past the post.
“We did well in the sense that we were playing away, but we could have done better because we had our chances. We actually wanted to win,” Chapungu assistant coach Clement Mugari told journalists after the match.
CAPS United: C Mverechena, D Dauda, G Goriati, S Makatuka, V Musarurwa, T Goredema, C Kamhapa (W Mutasa 54’), J Ngodzo, T Chiunye, A Chidiebere (P Moyo 72’), K Ndebele
Chapungu: T Shumba, E Chitauro, H Mugoniwa, B Mbavarira, M Muchangami, I Nyoni, J Jam (R. Matutu 76′), A Tavarwisa (O Mukuradare 69′), R Manuvire (P Marufu 54′), E Muzanenhamo, M Mavuto