HARARE – CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro should shoulder most of the blame or his side’s lethargic performance in the 1-0 defeat to Dynamos at the weekend.
Makepekepe, who last won a match in the Harare derby back in 2009, were undone by a 26th minute penalty converted by Dynamos midfielder Devon Chafa.
For long periods of Sunday’s encounter there was not much difference between the two sides as they traded blows like old sluggish heavyweight boxers who are in the twilight of their careers.
Starting with Dominic Chungwa and Tawanda Nyamandwe upfront proved United’s weakest link at the National Sports Stadium.
One can understand Mangwiro’s rational behind the striking pair considering that they were going up against two relatively short centre halves in Partson Jaure and Gift Bello.
Dynamos have struggled for height at the heart of their defence this season and with Augustine Mbara out injured.
Makepekepe’s game plan was evident from the onset.
Fullbacks Ronald Pfumbidzayi and Tapiwa Kumbuyani pushed forward frequently to send in crosses from both flanks as United looked to exploit DeMbare’s lack of height.
The deliveries from the two fullbacks however lacked any sort of precision to trouble Jaure, Bello and goalkeeper George Chigova.
Whenever Kumbuyani or Pfumbidzayi got into good crossing positions they either over cooked their crosses or failed to clear the first defender.
Chungwa and Nyamandwe never really got the required service from the flanks to make Chigova work.
A more realistic option for Mangwiro would have been to ditch the wide play and add an extra man in midfield, where Tawanda Munyanduri was an isolated figure.
Mangwiro’s first change after 47 minutes was to bring in the highly-rated Kelvin Bulaji for an effective Joseph Mutambiranwa.
CAPS basically remained with the same shape which did not trouble DeMbare, who kept it tight in the middle of the park where Thomas Magorimbo, Tawanda Muparati and Chafa patrolled.
Pulling out one of the two forwards and brining in Moses Muchenje to try and win the midfield battle would have been a better option for United.
Rahman Kutsanzira, who should have been the creative hub in the United midfield, had another subdued game.
The former Bosso star was given freedom to roam behind the two strikers to try and find openings but was outnumbered by the blue shirts.
In the end the Magorimbo-Muparati-Chafa trinity continued to have the upper hand against their opponents.
By the time Muchenje arrived in the 74th minute, United were already sensing defeat and were rushing when in possession.
The only two clear cut chances they were able to create were a result of a mistake and a set piece.
Firstly in the 75th minute, Magorimbo needlessly lost possession in a dangerous area, allowing Bulaji and Kumbuyani to combine on the right before setting up Nyamandwe.
The former Kiglon forward however shot weakly at goal before Kutsanzira was caught offside when he tried to pounce.
The other chance fell to Kumbuyani who headed his effort against the upright from Pfumbidzayi’s free kick in added time.
For some long periods United enjoyed a lot of possession albeit in the own half and could not shift the ball into areas where they could hurt Dynamos.
This is one game Mangwiro should look back to and see that his tactics from the onset failed him.
Had he altered with his formation slightly after the opening half, United could have earned their first win over DeMbare in eight attempts. – Godknows Matarutse