HARARE – CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe said he saw no reason to be worried after his charges opened their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) title defence with a goalless draw against returnees Shabanie Mine.
The Green Machine were left frustrated with a disciplined display by the Chinda Boys, who — with a bit of luck — could have collected maximum points at Maglas Stadium.
The draw came on the back of an industrial action the previous week by Makepekepe players as they refused to train demanding their unpaid allowances and bonuses, raising fears of their pedigree to successfully retain the title.
However, for Chitembwe though, there were enough encouraging signs for him that the reigning champions would accomplish their mission of defending the title they won last season having gone for over a decade without winning the championship.
“I think it was a very good performance by the boys despite encountering some problems, especially the playing surface which was not favourable,” Chitembwe told the Daily News yesterday.
“What we are more interested in as CAPS United is moving on from this game and focus on our next assignment. All I can do is to try and improve the team, nothing more. It is obvious we have to improve and get goals in our next matches.”
Chitembwe, who is the reigning Coach of the Year, further noted that it is still too early to press the panic buttons, adding that goals will soon come for the reigning champions.
“I can’t really say just because we failed to score in one game then all of a sudden we are in a crisis, no,” added Chitembwe added.
“Scoring goals is the responsibility of the whole team the same way as it is when defending. We created some good scoring chances but it was just not our day and we cannot blame anyone for that.
“We have to work hard on the pitch and try and make sure we do not concede and that we get goals ourselves. That is what we are all focused on, especially the players.”
The Green Machine host Harare City in their second match of the season at the national Sports Stadium.
Interestingly, the Sunshine Boys began their season with a goalless draw against another newly-promoted side Yadah FC.
Meanwhile, Dynamos are set to unleash Cameroonian striker Joel Christian Epoupa Ntouba when they travel to Gibbo for a date against Triangle on Sunday.
The highly-rated 23-year-old forward signed for the Harare giants last month but could not play in the Glamour Boys’ season opener against FC Platinum in which they lost 0-1 as his paperwork had not yet been finalised.
But yesterday, Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro told the Daily News that they are doing everything to ensure Ntouba will be available for their next league assignment.
“It is a process and we are doing everything to ensure his papers are in place,” Chihoro said.
“If all goes well, we should be having his papers before the end of this week. We hope he will be available when we travel to Triangle.”
The Glamour Boys are without doubt desperate to have Ntouba available, especially following their weekend’s defeat to the platinum miners in which they dominated only to be let down by a blunt strike force.
But despite a slender 0-1 defeat to last season’s runners-up, DeMbare fans would have been happy with how their team fared considering expectations for their team were very bleak before the season started.
To their credit, the Glamour Boys played the game with moderate intensity and cautiously probed FC Platinum’s shape, held possession and showed they were more than willing and capable to attack only to be let down by poor finishing.
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa has been on record saying the Cameroonian is the answer to his team’s shortcomings upfront.