ZPC Kariba . . . . . .. . (1) 2
CAPS United . . . . . . (3) 3
CAPS United seem to be perfecting the art of aiding city rivals Dynamos to the Castle Lager Premiership championship. As was the case last year, Dynamos needed more than just their own result in order to secure the championship and once again they turned to their old city enemies who somehow obliged when they blitzkrieged ZPC Kariba in the last league match of the season at Gwanzura yesterday.
Needing at least a draw to complete a fairy tale run in their maiden season in the Premiership ZPC Kariba found themselves chasing the game in the 10th minute when they fell to a Tapiwa Khumbuyani firm header, off a Gerald Phiri free-kick.
The goal was greeted with jeers from the CAPS United fans while the few Dynamos supporters who were at Gwanzura celebrated.
It got worse for the panicky title chasing side when Honey Chimutimunzeve breached the ZPC Kariba defence in the 13th minute to further increase the CAPS United lead.
Veteran striker Limited Chikafa then hit the back of the nets from close range in the 15th minute but it was CAPS United, who were in uncompromising mood, who got another goal through Ishmael Thindwa before the break.
A strike from Phillip Makanje in the second half gave a glimmer of hope for ZPC Kariba but it was a little too late for Katururu to force a draw.
Some CAPS United fans were so disappointed with their team’s classic performance such that at some instances, they threw missiles at goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube when he made a brilliant save. It was the handful of DeMbare fans that were now rallying behind the Green Machine.
Last year, CAPS United helped Dynamos to win the championship when they held Harare City while the script was repeated at Gwanzura on Super Sunday when they denied ZPC Kariba a win.
Going into the last match of the season, ZPC Kariba were on 56 points while Dynamos were on 54 and on paper everything pointed to Saul Chaminuka’s moment of glory.
But ZPC Kariba can only blame themselves for buckling under pressure when the electricity men needed to fire on all generators.
Even PSL’s broadcast partners SuperSport had decided that live coverage would be for the match at Gwanzura.
A disappointed Chaminuka felt ZPC Kariba only had themselves to blame.
“We have failed at the last minute. In our culture we talk of losing it when you are almost getting it and that’s what happened to us,” lamented Chaminuka.
The veteran coach blamed the static defence while his forwards rushed their efforts when they made an onslaught at CAPS United, especially in the second half.
“We defended badly. If we look at the first score, the defenders were standing still and the opponent is allowed to head the ball home. I do not expect to concede from such a situation where a striker will head that ball from a free kick.
“I thought our defenders were supposed to attack the ball and the result is happened. You give people space to score and they will do that.
“We gave CAPS United a lot of time for the whole game and we gave them a lot of space to score easy goals,” said Chaminuka. Chaminuka said his players succumbed to pressure and allowed seasoned campaigners Dynamos to steal the title right from under their nose.
“I do not think that we were complacent but it was the weight of the pressure on the kind of match. We have never played a game that had pressure of this magnitude since the start of the season.
“When we played matches, our focus was on survival but now we were talking of the championship and we needed to win. CAPS United had nothing to play for and they were not under any pressure to tell the truth.
“CAPS never play like this when there is pressure. There were more comfortable but I think my players did well considering that we travelled a lot this season,” said Chaminuka. Next year, ZPC Kariba hope to play their matches in Kariba and Chaminuka believes they will launch another serious fight for the championship.
“We now know the route and I am sure next year we will do something. We could have won the league maybe with five games to spare if we had been playing home matches in Kariba.
“There was lot of biased officiating on us away and we could only manage some draws. We have lost and the players know that and my players have to feel bad and we all have to feel bad but I think it was written somewhere up there,” said Chaminuka.
CAPS United assistant coach Mike Madzivanyika said they were never concerned about results from elsewhere but were focused on their match only.
“The guys have been playing well throughout the season and it’s unfortunate we lost a number of games along the way. We only play football to win every time,” said the Madzivanyika.
Taurai Mangwiro, the CAPS United coach is attending a Fifa instructors’ course in Cameroon and will be happy to know that he has an able assistant in Madzivanyika. “Those two early goals gave us the advantage and we now need to go for a break and see what happens next season,” said Madzivanyika.