CAPS United 0 – 2 Highlanders
Highlanders made a very bold statement to all and sundry that they will not be bridesmaids in this season’s title race with a polished display that compounded CAPS United’s woes.
Former Motor Action linkman Masimba Mambare scored two second-half goals that saw Bosso complete a double over the beleaguered Harare giants who were left pondering just what needs to be done to get back to winning ways.
However, the log leaders’ mentor, Kelvin Kaindu, refused to be carried away in the celebrations that have gripped the Tshilamoya faithful, insisting that the league race is still very young for anybody to stick the favourites’ tag on his charges.
“It’s very pleasing that we bagged the three points and the fact that we beat such a good side back-to-back makes it extra sweet for us.
“But we are not thinking about the championship just yet, it is still early days, so we are just focusing on every game as it comes,” Kaindu said, attributing the brilliant run to the grace of God.
CAPS United, who are now under the tutelage of Taurai Mangwiro, were left cursing their luck as the Harare side played gallantly and deserved at least a point from the game but they failed to utilise the chances that came their way in the first half.
Bosso should have gone into an early lead had their frontline been sharp when Bhekimpilo Ncube stole the ball from Tapiwa Kumbuyani, who was ball-watching in the box, and whipped in a cross to Milton Ncube, who failed to convert with just Edmore Sibanda to beat.
Kepekepe would, however, not be overwhelmed by Bosso’s midfield dominance which nonetheless did not translate into meaningful raids.
In the 16th minute, Leonard Fiyado launched a counter-attack, exchanging passes with former Highlanders linkman Rahman Kutsanzira to evade their markers before releasing the hard-working Shingi Kawondera, who let fly a right-footed cracker which was expertly pushed out for a corner by Ariel Sibanda in goals for the visitors.
Bosso’s half clearance of the resultant corner fell kindly for Kutsanzira, who threaded it to Hardlife Zvirekwi, but the former Gunners midfielder’s volley missed the target by a few inches, with the city end, which houses CAPS United fans, up in anticipation.
The visitors continued their bullish display in the middle of the park with dreadlocked Peter Moyo proving to be a handful for the hosts.
But to their credit, United were the much hungrier side, making sure they caused problems for the visiting goalkeeper each time they gained possession.
In the 27th minute, Mambare collected a Mthulisi Maphosa pass in midfield and dribbled past Zvirekwi and Edmore Chafungamoyo, then laid the ball to “Rio”, as Peter Moyo is fondly referred to. In turn, Moyo skilfully side-stepped past one marker and sent in a through ball intended for leading scorer Milton Ncube, but an alert Kumbuyani averted danger for Caps.
With 10 minutes before the breather, Bosso’s wing-back Bruce Kangwa tripped Zvirekwi 25 metres from Sibanda’s goal-line and up stepped ZiKeeper whose trademark pile driver could not beat the five-man Highlanders defence wall.
Four minutes later, Zvirekwi won the ball in midfield and charged towards goal with Bosso lacking in defence arsenal. With Kawondera and Fiyado on his right and left respectively, Zvirekwi opted for glory which, however, was not to be, as the impressive Ariel Sibanda punched his effort back into play.
After the breather, Bosso came back a more determined side and showed why they are unbeaten this season with some breathtaking displays that kept the travelling fans up on their feet.
It was not long before their dominance was turned into goals as Mambare pounced in the 57th minute.
The move was initiated by Bhekimpilo Ncube, who threaded a beautiful pass to Milton Ncube from wide on the left and the former responded with another good pass to Mambare, who beat a badly exposed ZiKeeper with a well-placed shot.
Mambare then capped his brace with 20 minutes to play with a powerful left over the ‘keeper after a costly blunder by the Caps United goalminder.
ZiKeeper miscalculated a short pass intended for Tendai Samanja that was intercepted by second substitute and teenage striker Ozias Zibande who, together with
Peter Moyo, failed to work their way past the Caps defence and thus passed the responsibility to Mambare who responded with a well-taken shot which beat an outdrawn ZiKeeper for height.
Bosso then began to display some fancy footwork with their supporters cheering them on.
Taurai Mangwiro conceded defeat in a post-match interview but said he was confident his charges will soon find the groove.
“We have a lot of work to do and it’s not going to be easy, but I am confident we will start winning soon because there are a lot of positives we can draw from this defeat,” said Mangwiro.
Caps United: E Sibanda, E Chafungamoyo (E Gwekwerere, 61st), L Fiyado, S Kawondera (C Kawinga, 76th), T Kumbuyani, R Kutsanzira, N Mukumbi, T Munyanduri, D Redhiyoni, D Walaza, H Zvirekwi (T Samanja, 56th).
Highlanders: A Sibanda, B Chikaka (O Zibande 50th), B Kangwa, M Mambare, M Maphosa (S Munawa 54th), I Mupuranga, P Moyo ( H Moyo, 73rd), E Mudzingwa, B Ncube, M Ncube, B Tshuma. By Sbue