Caps, FC Platinum in stalemate

CAPS Utd ………. 0

FC Platinum……. 0

The teenage midfielder Tinotenda Chiunye, from the Aces Youth Soccer Academy, cast a spell on this Castle Lager Premiership match with his bag of skills which illuminated a contest high on intensity but low on flair at the National Sports Stadium on Friday.

The 19-year-old, with a cultured left foot, was thrown into the fray by CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe in the 51st minute for veteran midfielder Peter “Rio’’ Moyo.

And he justified his inclusion with some fine touches, brilliant ball control and movement as he overshadowed everyone on the field and immediately became a crowd favourite with the Caps United fans.

He refused to be overawed by the occasion of playing in one of the biggest matches on the domestic scene, which never reached the heights that many had expected, and became the star of the show with his brilliance on an afternoon where there were many average performances from both sides.

Whether it was taking on defenders, picking out his teammates or confusing his opponents with his good runs off the ball which kept freeing him from the opposition, Chiunye kept doing the right things.

And such was his impact that the CAPS United fans showered him with notes and coins as they showed their appreciation of his raw talent and the promise it brings to their team.

Chitembwe on Friday said his men needed to be clinical with their finishing in order to turn their fortunes for the better after this goalless draw against defending champions FC Platinum.

Makepekepe have had a slow take-off this year after three successive draws in their opening matches of the season.

This means they have only three points and can be translated to mean they have won one and lost two of their first three matches.

Both teams had decent chances on goal but the Green Machine enjoyed the lion’s share of the exchanges with Brian Muzondiwa and Simba Nhivi, who had a disappointing afternoon, coming close while Soccer Star of the Year Rodwell Chinyengetere was denied by the upright for FC Platinum.

But Chitembwe revealed he was confident his boys will get it right despite the disappointment of being denied their first win this season.

Makepekepe have also drawn against Harare City and Bulawayo Chiefs in previous matches.

“I am sure we have been working very hard and I am very happy with the response that I am getting from these boys. Yeah, we are on the right track as far as I am concerned,’’ he said.

“The good thing is today we had another clean sheet. Those are positives, unfortunately we could not score. But very soon I’m sure we will get it right. We need to be seen winning games. We have every chance to do exactly that.

“But we know this is a very long journey and we have only travelled a short distance, so we are not really worried about that.

“What we should concentrate and focus on is just the performance and I know we will get it right. I am very impressed with what we have achieved so far considering the fact that in December alone we lost almost five key-key players and this is a virtually new team.

“Moses (Muchenje), Phineas (Bamusi), Edmore (Sibanda), (Dominic) Chungwa and Devon (Chafa) are no longer part of the team and when you bring in new players, obviously, it takes a little bit of time to gel. But the positives are there and we are very happy.

“It’s just that our conversion is not as good as the chances we create, which is a let-down but overall I think I’m very impressed.

“We defended very well and I thought we were compact. We didn’t give them many scoring opportunities.’’

Makepekepe started the match at a blistering pace and controlled the flow of the game with some good exchanges in the opening minutes.

Veteran forward Mkhokheli Dube was brought down at the edge of the box and CAPS United goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba was well-positioned to deal with a fine free kick by Farai Madhananga on 20 minutes.

Madhananga was involved moments later when he dispossessed Joel Ngodzo at the centre and made a spirited run before releasing Chinyengetere on the right channel.

However, the midfielder’s low shot was denied by the woodwork with Chigumba beaten.

CAPS United could have taken a deserved lead right on the stroke of half time but goalkeeper Francis Tizayi made one of the best saves seen in domestic football for a long time when he went down and scooped out Muzondiwa’s point-blank header for a corner with Makepekepe supporters already on their feet.

Tizayi was also in the the right position in the 85th minute when he collected a good header by Nhivi from a cross swung from the left by the former Aces Youth Soccer Academy rookie.

FC Platinum coach Lizwe Sweswe was happy with a point picked on the road.

FC Platinum moved to seven points but were dislodged from the top of the table by Ngezi Platinum who maintained a 100 percent record with a win over Dynamos on Thursday.

“We did everything. I think the boys tried their best. “The fact that we were playing away and the fact that in the previous season when FC Platinum came here in Harare they would drop all points to CAPS United, I think the boys did very well by picking a point,” said Sweswe.

Teams

CAPS Utd: P. Chigumba, C. Munzabwa, V. Musarurwa, D. Dauda, S. Makatuka, C. Kamhapa, J. Ngodzo, P. Moyo (T. Chiunye, 51st min), S. Nhivi, J. Zhuwawu, B. Muzondiwa (D. Mukamba, 72nd min)

FC Platinum: F. Tizayi, R. Muduviwa, E. Moyo, G. Bello, K. Moyo, W. Mhango, F. Madhananga, R. Chinyengetere, R. Kutsanzira (N. Tigere, 74th min), M. Dube (A. Eonde, 70th min), A. Sadiki (C. Sibanda, 61th min).

Source: The Herald