HARARE – CAPS United captain Tapiwa Kumbuyani believes Makepekepe have been handed yet another lifeline to resurrect their faint Castle Premiership title hopes after last weekend’s results, in addition to their quest for the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
While Dynamos, Harare City, Highlanders and FC Platinum dropped points on the road in the league at the weekend, Makepekepe emerged from Sakubva Stadium with all three points.
A Moses Muchenje second half strike handed United a 1-0 win over army side Buffaloes. They now trail log leaders Dynamos by four points with three games before the season ends.
“I think the rest of the teams fighting for the title gave us a second chance with the way they have dropped points recently,” Kumbuyani told the Daily News.
“There was a time when we thought we were out of the race, but we went back to the drawing board and resolved that we wanted to finish the season strongly.
“Our target now is to win all three of our remaining matches but it won’t be easy because they are all tricky matches.
“We are still going to play Black Rhinos, who will be fighting to avoid relegation and we have Motor Action, who are already relegated, but we saw what they did to Highlanders at the weekend.
“In our last game we have to play Harare City and depending on how the other two games go, it will be a tough game.”
The Green Machine is still fighting on two fronts as they are also in the Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-finals, where they clash with How Mine this weekend.
If everything goes according to plan, United can finish with two pieces of silverware to end a season that can be best described as unusual.
CAPS had a slow start to the season as their coach Taurai Mangwiro was still suspended in the Asiagate match fixing scandal.
When Mangwiro returned, United went on a 10-game unbeaten run that was only ended by their city rivals Dynamos.
A standoff between the players and management over unpaid salaries and bonuses threatened to throw away all the good work the club had done this season.
After a few crisis meetings, the rift was resolved and United now find themselves in a good position to challenge for both the league and the Mbada titles.
“We want both trophies,” Kumbuyani said. “We can’t shift our attention onto the cup competition alone and forget about the league.
“We are going to play well in both competitions and hope that we will have some silverware at the end of the season.
“We have to start with the semi-final this weekend against How Mine and obviously they are going to come at us fighting with everything they have got.
“Although we beat them in a league match recently, we must not underrate them in any way going into this semi-final.”
Mbada Semi Finals
Saturday: Harare City v Highlanders (Mandava Stadium, 1500hrs).
Sunday: CAPS United v How Mine (National Sports Stadium, 1500hrs).