HARARE – Hwange coach Bigboy Mawiwi was left to lament poor defending after his charges failed to preserve their lead as they allowed CAPS United to come back from behind and settled for a share of spoils in a Castle Lager Premiership match yesterday.
Chipangano, who are involved in a fierce battle for survival, had taken a 76th minute lead through Delic Murimba following some sloppy defending by the Green Machine backline. But their lead only lasted for three minutes as CAPS United responded through John Zhuwawo.
With the draw, Hwange remain in the murky waters of relegation sitting third from the bottom with 31 points from 30 matches. And with four matches left before the season ends, Mawiwi knows his charges should do better if they are to avoid the chop.
“I am actually disappointed because after leading, we should have defended well but instead we conceded a soft goal, that was a soft goal,” Mawiwi said.
“The result could have been better for us. We came determined to collect three points here but sadly we were undone by that soft goal and the result is not good for me and the team. We are in the relegation zone and we thought three points today were going to do us a huge favour.
“But we remain focussed, we continue fighting. We have got the confidence there are still 12 points to fight for and we will see what happens. I think it’s a wasted opportunity because it was going to give us a big lift because most of the teams in our situation lost and others drew.”
CAPS United were by far the better side playing some purposeful football but could not turn their dominance into goals.
Their game plan though went up in smoke after two first half injury-inspired substitutions after Valentine Musarurwa and Kudzai Nyamupfukudza had to be replaced by Carlton Munzabwa and Moses Muchenje after suffering different ailments.
Hwange, though came with a well-calculated game plan restricting the champions to play in their own half while hitting them on the counter and indeed they looked dangerous each time they ventured forward.
With some bit of luck and precision Hwange could have gone to half time leading by at least a goal but their strikers of Nathan Ziwini and Murimba both squandered a good scoring opportunity on 37 minutes.
Murimba, however made no mistake on 76 minutes when he beat an advancing Edmore Sibanda after Munzabwa had failed to deal with a harmless long ball from the back. Zhuwawo equalised for the Green Machine three minutes later following a good buildup from midfield before sending his shot to the far post to give Hwange goalkeeper Collen Phiri no chance.
CAPS United assistant coach Tostao Kwashi blamed complacency for the draw.
“First I want to talk about Lloyd Chitembwe. Before the game he had warned the boys about a potential banana skin posed by Hwange. He told them that we had a brilliant game against Highlanders but you need to be aware of this Hwange side,” said Kwashi.
“Players at times get a bit relaxed, not necessarily underestimating opponents but it’s in the nature of a human being. So the coach had already warned that we need to be cautious and let’s not be in the hangover of that Highlanders match.
“The thing is the guys created a lot of chances. We had more shots on target; we had a lot of crosses. Hwange were tight, there were compact and were hitting us on the counter attack sort of parking the bus, there were playing to their strength.
“But I am also hurt because we created a lot of chances enough to have won us the match. We should have scored three or four but if you don’t bury those chances you are bound to be punished. We were not ruthless enough in terms of killing off the game early which is normal in football.
The draw took CAPS United’s tally to 50 points after having played 30 matches.