ZVISHAVANE – Castle Lager Premier Soccer League returnees Shabanie Mine had a dream start to their season when they held defending champions CAPS United to a goalless draw with a performance that warranted all three points.
Although the stadium burst into celebration at the end of the game, everyone knew the result could have been better after the Chinda Boys outplayed Makepekepe.
Shabanie Mine coach Wilson Mutekede was elated by his team’s strong start to the season in which most fans feel they might struggle to survive.
“We are happy that we got a good result. We could, however, have taken the game because we had a number of good chances …the boys showed CAPS a lot of respect in the first half but came out stronger in the second,” Mutekede said.
Makepekepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe was not bothered by the dropped two points this early in the season.
“For us the result is not very important but the mission which will end in November is more important,” Chitembwe said.
The reigning Coach of the Year denied the industrial action by the players last week had a bearing on yesterday’s result.
“The players gave their best as they brought a lot of positives than negatives and most of the negatives are figments of people’s imagination,” he said.
The match started off as a cagey affair but CAPS could have opened the scoring in the fourth minute when they were awarded a free kick in a good position outside the Shabanie box.
Goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda unleashed his trademark thunderbolt from the set-piece which was saved by the home side’s number 1 Samuel Mafukidze.
Shabanie could have broken the deadlock in the 12th minute when Tinashe Mupumha was sent through by a Farai Mupasiri defence-splitting pass but was slow, allowing Sibanda to collect.
With CAPS veteran striker Leonard Tsipa under lock and key from an equally experienced William Mapfumo, the Green Machine appeared tame and ordinary.
The home side appeared the most threatening with flashes of brilliance that kept the packed stadium in roars of excitement.
Tsipa’s first chance of the game came in the 18th minute but he was forced to head wide under challenge.
At the other end, Makepekepe were now keeping a high line that left the home side’s strikers in an offside position all the time they attacked which frustrated the Chinda Boys’ fans. In the second period, Shabanie began to take the game to the defending champions with Collin Dhuwa causing all sorts of problems for CAPS down the left side. With Shabanie enjoying more of the possession, Makepekepe almost scored against the run of play in the 53rd minute when Ronald Chitiyo broke free on the right side. Chitiyo’s cross-cum-shot almost caught out Mafukidze, who scrambled to palm it for a corner kick.
Mupasiri and second half substitute Dylan Chivandire took turns in fluffing their lines with Shabanie all over the visitors.
Makepekepe had a narrow escape in the 66th minute when a stinging Mupumha shot rattled the crossbar with Sibanda well-beaten.
A minute later, the unrelenting Shabanie were back knocking on the visitors’ door but Tafadzwa Chimoyo’s effort went just wide of Sibanda’s goal.
The home side were almost punished for their wastefulness in front of goal when Chitiyo let loose a long range shot that troubled Mafukidze in the 78th minute.
Second half substitute Bruno Mtigo skied his effort four minutes from time as the home side continued to waste chances.
Shabanie Mine: Samuel Mafukidze, Admire Dzumbunu, William Mapfumo, Tinashe Mupumha, Farai Mupasiri (Joe Nyabinde 81m), Trevor Mavhunga, Collin Dhuwa, Wellington Taderera (Dylan Chivandire 58m), Tafadzwa Chimoyo (Bruno Mtigo 71m), Nyasha Mpofu, Lloyd Manyande
CAPS United: Edmore Sibanda, Hardlife Zvirekwi (Ronald Pfumbidzai 70m), Valentine Musarurwa, Justice Jangano, Dennis Dauda, Devon Chafa (Joel Ngodzo 58m), Moses Muchenje, Ronald Chitiyo, Phineas Bamusi, Tafadzwa Rusike (Dominick Chungwa 55m), Leonard Tsipa.