HARARE – Black Mambas eased their relegation worries with a resounding 4-1 victory over Caste Premiership title-chasing CAPS United at Morris Depot on Saturday.
Nichols Alifandika scored a brace while Last Chibwiro and Honey Chimutimunzeve weighed in with a goal each to take the police outfit points tally to 32 and 11th on the log.
ON THE DOUBLE: Black Mambas two-goal hero Nicholas Alifandika, left, wheels away in celebration after scoring against CAPS United on Sturday.
Makepekepe got their consolation goal from midfielder Benson Maglasi but it was not enough to help the Green Machine keep pressure on the log leaders Highlanders.
With five games to go before the season ends, CAPS now have a slim chance of catching Bosso, who travel to Rimuka Stadium this afternoon to take on Black Rhinos.
Yesterday, Mambas did all the damage in the first half as CAPS put up a pathetic performance not worthy for a team searching for its first title in eight years.
The home side opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after Alifandika punished the Makepekepe defence for ball watching when he fired in a volley from the blind side.
After the first goal, Warumwa Warumwa continued to pile the pressure on United with Alifandika and Chimutimunzeve making some good runs to get behind the opponents defence.
It did not take long for Mambas to increase the lead as United seemed rattled by the opening goal from the home side.
Alifandika completed his brace in the 29th minute after he headed in a cross from Chimutimunzeve.
United put up a disjointed show in that opening 45 minutes as their only real chance to reduce the deficit coming two minutes before the break when Tawanda Nyamandwe’s shot was saved by Tonderai Mateyaunga.
After the breather, Mambas resumed with the same tempo as in the first half and were soon three goals to the good in the 49th minute.
Chibwiro won possession inside the box before he beat United defenders Steven Makatuka and Ronald Pfumbidzayi to fire past goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube.
After conceding the third goal, United coach Taurai Mangwiro brought off an ineffective David Rediyoni and replaced him with Dominic Chungwa.
Makekepeke pulled one goal back in the 55th minute after Maglasi headed in a cross from left back Pfimbidzayi.
United went on to create a number of good chance’s after Maglasi’s but they failed to reduce the deficit.
Mateyaunga made a number of telling save to deny Chungwa after the United substitute had gone on a menacing run in the 62nd minute.
Makepekepe were finally punished for those misses when Chimutimunzeve completed the rout a minute before fulltime when he headed in Mambas’ fourth goal following a mix-up by the United defence.
After the match Black Mambas assistant coach Martin Bonongwe praised his players for putting in a good performance.
“I’m very happy to collect three points against one of the title contenders. Our boys played very well today,” Bonongwe said.
“I think with this type of play we are going to survive relegation. Our strikers utilised the chances which came on their way which is an important thing in any match.”