HARARE – CAPS United put up an inspired second half performance to salvage a point against visiting ZPC Kariba in a Castle Lager Premiership encounter here yesterday.
United went into the match on the back of last week’s 2-1 defeat to Kelvin Kaindu’s How Mine at Luveve Stadium.
Makepekepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe rang a number of changes to the side that lost to the gold miners by dropping former skipper Method Mwanjali, Justice Jangano, Dominic Chungwa and winger Phineas Bamusi.
However, United put up a horrendous first half performance and at one point looked as if they were in for a shellacking from the visitors.
Honestly, United put up a thoroughly dispiriting performance, lacking inspiration, guile and didn’t deserve anything really.
It came as no surprise when Sunday Chidzambwa’s side took the lead through Limited Chikafa in the 15th minute when he rose high to head home a Never Tigere cross to give his side the lead.
Out of respect for his former side, Chikafa refused to celebrate the goal.
Chidzambwa’s side always looked dangerous on the break with former Harare City winger Talent Chawapihwa causing problems to the United backline with his pace.
Chawapihwa would add to the visiting side’s lead before the home side could regroup from the early setback after the speedy winger capitalised on some shocking defending from Dennis Dauda.
The former ZPC Kariba man failed to clear his lines allowing Chawapihwa to sneak in from the blind side and United keeper Joram Muchambo inexplicably came off his line trying close in on the ZPC Kariba man.
Chawapihwa showed his tenacity and class to lob the ball over the outdrawn keeper to give his side what looked like a comfortable 2-0 lead.
From there on ZPC Kariba passed the ball around with aplomb as they went into the half time two goals to the good.
The visitors were organised defensively with forward Tawanda Nyamandwe surprisingly stationed at the back alongside Lincoln Zvasiya, Tawanda Munyanduri, Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe and Sylvester Appiah in a 5-3-2 formation.
Even after the match, Chitembwe admitted that his side was poor in the first half but a change of tactics helped his side to rescue a point.
“Look, we were poor in the first half and didn’t play well. We had to change the structure of the team to give us width on the break that is why we introduced Phineas and Dominic (Chungwa). I’m happy with the result because we needed it after going down in the first half,” Chitembwe said.
United came back into the second half a rejuvenated side and Chitembwe’s halftime pep talk seemed to do the magic for his side.
Sensing that his side needed width on the break, Chitembwe threw in Chungwa and Bhamusi for Archieford Gutu and Simba Nhivi.
United probed with renewed vigour as the visitors chose to defend deep in their own half.
Bhamusi started the United comeback when he headed in a Josta Ngodzo cross in the 71st minute.
And from there, the Green Machine went in for the kill as they threw a number of punches at Chidzambwa’s side.
With a goal in the bag and a home crowd to spur them on, United had the wind in their sails and veteran forward Leonard Tsipa rescued a point for his side when he headed home a Ronald Pfumbidzai free kick three minutes before the end.
Chidzambwa was visibly disappointed with how his charges failed to protect their first half lead.
“We should have buried them in the first half as we could have scored a lot of goals but we allowed them to come at us and we conceded soft goals which I thought the keeper could have saved. But we will take the point back to Kariba and look forward to the Hwange game,” Chidzambwa said.
CAPS United: J.Muchambo, H.Zvirekwi (Z. Bizeki 88mins), R. Pfumbidzai, D. Dauda, S. Makatuka, K. Nyamupfukudza, J. Ngodzo, B.Amidu, A. Gutu ( P. Bhamusi 46mins) S. Nhivi (D Chungwa 46mins) L. Tsipa.
ZPC Kariba: T. Hove, T. Munyanduri, M. Kunyarimwe, S. Appiah, L. Zvasiya, T. Nyamandwe, E. Meleka, N. Tigere (D. Phiri 87mins) L. Chikafa ( T. Chitora 63mins) T. Chawapihwa (G. Mangani 74mins), P. Kabwe.