CAPS United squandered a golden opportunity to open a four-point lead at the top of the log standings after allowing Yadah to come from two goals down to force a draw in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
This was all down to poor game management by the log leaders. With nearest challengers Chicken Inn and FC Platinum having stuttered to draws earlier on Saturday, Caps United went into the match seeking to widen the gap.
They had started off brightly, carving out good chances that earned them two fabulous goals inside 21 minutes. John Zhuwawo thrust them into the lead after seven minutes, capitalising on poor clearance by Lennox Mucheto to chip the ball over goalkeeper Ali Issah.
After taking an early lead, they had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee after Phineas Bhamusi was brought down in the penalty box as he charged towards goal on the quarter hour.
However, Ronald Chitiyo doubled the lead on the 21st minute after getting to the end of a cross by Kelvin Ndebele, killed the ball instantly before rolling it into the nets with his left foot.
When many were expecting Caps to cruise to a comfortable victory, they failed to maintain their shape and the injury of goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga did not help matters. He was replaced by Prosper Chigumba.
The second choice goalkeeper had a nightmare just a moment after coming on with Nkosi Mhlanga’s effort crashing against the upright post on 32 minutes before he hit the back of the nets three minutes later with a stunning free kick from about 40 meters out.
Buoyed by the goal, Yadah became increasingly assertive and at the stroke of the first half, Paddington Nyamakura beat an off side trap to score the leveller.
In the second half, Caps United appeared determined to regain their lead, but spurned chances on several occasions.
It was Yadah, who, however, could have ran out winners in this contest after Mhlanga scored with a diving header on 85 minutes, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Despite the draw Caps still maintain pole position on the league table by two points.
Caps coach Darlington Dodo looked dejected and down cast at the end of the match.
“Surrendering a 2-0 lead, with the quality we have I don’t know what to say. Those goals we conceded were give aways. It’s very embarrassing how we gave away those goals. We had a grip on the match and decided to give it away. It’s sad. I was angry at them at the break and they were also angry at each other and that is why you saw there was a big improvement in the way we managed the game in the second half. There are individuals who didn’t do their job, the injury to Mateyaunga affected us,” he said.
His counterpart Genesis Mangombe hit out at the match officials. “We tried our best, but at times you feel the match officials must be fair when handling matches. I thought the disallowed goal was a genuine goal according to the rules of the game. We played well and showed great character to come back from two goals down and draw against a team like Caps who are fighting for the championship. Mathematically, I think we still have a chance to survive relegation,” he said.
Yadah: A Issah, M Musiyakwi, S Linyama, L Mucheto, J Chitereki, G Mangani, (T Mkahlera 69’), E Karembo (W Nyamudyariwa 90’), N Mhlanga, P Nyamakura (I Sadiki 81’), R Matema, L Mavhunga
Caps: T Mateyaunga, (P Chigumba 29’), J Jangano, G Goriyati (L Zvasiya 90’), V Ndaba, D Mukandi, J Ngodzo, P Bhamusi, K Ndebele, J Zhuwawo, R Chitiyo (D Chungwa 69’)