By Fatima Bulla
Caps United . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . .(1) 1
Caps United yesterday finally managed to get one over Kelvin Kaindu and his Highlanders charges after they came out tops in their explosive dual at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
CHECKMATE . . . Highlanders captain Innocent Mapuranga goes for the ball under the watchful eye of Caps United Dominic Chungwa in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter at the National Sports Stadium.
An eighth minute goal from Dominic Chungwa and a second-half strike by Leonard Fiyado cancelled Milton Ncube’s long range goal and ensured CAPS United pummeled their opponents to submission.
This came after the Green Machine’s last victory in a league match against Highlanders was during the second round of the 2011 season when they sailed to a 3-1 victory in Harare.
The Green Machine coach Taurai Mangwiro believes the advantage is now on his team with all the pressure piling on Highlanders before the two lock horns in the reverse fixture in a fortnight.
“I expect them to come out fighting because we are not under pressure anymore going into that match. I always felt if we had played the same way we played against Hwange we were going to win today.
“Records are meant to be broken, today was our day and we do not live in the past. Let us face things as they are and think about the future. It is sweet to beat the log leaders like I was saying that we did not need other teams to do the job for us. We are now within three points of the summit,” Mangwiro said.
Caps United went into the match with their morale high as they were the only side among the Big Three — the others being Dynamos and Highlanders — to register a victory in the mid-week matches.
And it was only eight minutes after referee Batsirayi Muchenje blew the whistle that the Green Machine shook the side netting.
Clearly having a good day, Rahman Kutsanzira partnered well with Moses Muchenje and the resultant cross was met by Chungwa who tapped the ball in the net beating Munyaradzi Diya in goals for the visitors.
Realising that they were behind, Highlanders began probing the Caps United goal with Milton Ncube the most offensive. He was duly rewarded after 30 minutes when, without hesitation, he powered a shot from 40 metres to leave United goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube stranded.
With the band of the Green Machine fans silenced, Highlanders then got their confidence back with Ncube causing much of the headaches for the home side’s defence. Masimba Mambare, who was the nemesis for Caps United in last year’s meeting, appeared quieter than usual.
As the first half waned away with the two teams tied on a goal each, Mangwiro’s talk must have been put to practice better than Kaindu’s as the second half would go on to prove.
With Caps United’s David Rediyoni tiring, Mangwiro brought in Zvirekwi in the 50th minute and it seemed to have made the difference. Despite making blunders in the first few minutes, Zvirekwi now popularly known as Nairobi following his forgettable journey with the Warriors, soon began breathe fire.
Caps United players were now full of running and young Fiyado saw an opportunity in the 80th minute as he dinked the ball over Diya to push his team ahead. Then Bosso were buried. In the young Turks, Mangwiro believes he has a promising team.
“There is a lot of promise, there is light at the end of the tunnel. What we need is to keep believing, now we are calling for a lot of patience from our supporters and we will get there.
“We have to keep working hard, the ideal thing is we got 26 points in the first half of the season and have to do better in the second,” he added.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu said the loss is in the past as he turns his attention to the reverse fixture.
“It was always going to be difficult for us considering that last season we beat them home and away and today they beat us 2-1.
“I think today we created few chances and we did not look that dangerous. We were not at our best but today (yesterday) was a different game, it is gone. The next fixture we will work on the things that we failed to do.
“When you come from a game where you are beaten, the other team has always a slight advantage but I think it is going to be a different game,” the Zambian born said.
Kaindu relayed worry over losing six points in three days. They lost 0-1 to Chicken Inn on Wednesday.
“It was quite difficult to lose six points especially that we are on top and it is affecting our movement and position on the log standings,” he said.