HARARE – Caps United returned to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership log standings after edging a battling Mutare City Rovers here yesterday.
A clinical first half performance by the Green Machine left Magusha in a dump as the home side could not recover after goals from Simba Nhivi and Abbas Amidu.
With FC Platinum out of action this weekend and ZPC Kariba taking the top spot momentarily after edging Tsholotsho 1-0 at Nyamhunga on Saturday, the Green Machine returned to the summit via a superior goal difference.
Both Makepekepe and ZPC Kariba are now on 21 points from 10 matches while the platinum miners are on 20 points with a game in hand.
An elated CAPS coach Lloyd Chitembwe said: “That (the training boycott) was a non-event as far as I’m concerned. The win is good for the team. We needed the result. The boys did very well; I think the first half was very perfect. I thought we had done enough.”
Mutare City slumped to their eighth defeat in 10 league outings in their maiden season in the top flight and their coach Taku Shariwa admitted they had lost to a better side.
“We lost to a better organised team… They had better management of the ball particularly in the first half,” Shariwa said.
“Our conversion rate was inferior; they attacked us three times and scored twice while we had more chances which we failed to take.”
The home side was let down by their poor finish after enjoying a lot of the ball and creating the better chances.
Makepekepe survived an early Magusha raid in the opening minutes before turning the tables on the hosts.
Rovers should have taken an early lead but Jorum Muchambo pulled off a stunning save to tip over for a corner a dipping shot from Sam Musimbu as the home side dominated the opening exchanges.
But against the run of play, CAPS took the lead in the 10th minute when Nhivi provided a close range finish from a Phineas Bamusi cross to beat Rovers keeper Mark Makuyana after a quick counter attack.
Nhivi could have added a second moments later but he shot straight at Makuyana after connecting with a cross from Hardlife Zvirekwi.
The home side thought they had equalised when captain Emmanuel Sinaputa’s header was cleared right on the goal line by Zvirekwi.
Magusha were to come close again when Stephen Sibanda shot through a clutter of CAPS defenders but his effort was cleared off the line by Kudzai
After sustaining the home side’s barrage, United extended their lead five minutes before the break when Amidu volleyed home from close range after a goalmouth melee inside the Rovers box.
In the second half, the match was evenly balanced with both sides failing to create clear-cut scoring chances.