Oscar Rusenga in Triangle
MANICA Diamonds defeated Caps United in yesterday’s Castle Lager Premiership match, with Ralph Kawondera scoring two late goals as a second half substitute.
The visitors appeared to have salvaged a point away from home, but Kawondera volleyed home from a superb pass from Talent Chamboka to give his side the lead, before he scored again to give Jairos Tapera’s team maximum points.
Kawondera had been introduced to replace Bret Amidu in the 80th minute.
The game had been more balanced in the first half, with both sides enjoying passing football, but it was Manica who almost went ahead when Michael Tapera burst forward to unleash a shot, which was deflected over by Hastings Chapusha.
Clive Rupiya had the best chance for Caps United, but lacked precision, failing to beat goalkeeper Tedious Baye in a one-on-one situation.
The visitors never recovered from missed opportunities.
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe thought Rupiya’s chance could have changed everything had he been clinical.
“It’s very disappointing, I thought we had done enough to try and even win it. I am sure we had clearer opportunities than they had and I am disappointed. Clive could have done better with proper calculation and precision.
“In the second half we got another chance, and with the goalkeeper to beat, the striker was not decisive. If you miss these kinds of opportunities usually it comes back to haunt you and they caught us on the counter,” said Chitembwe.
The hosts had a handful of chances through their mid-season signing, Tawanda Macheke, whose first chance on goal ricocheted off the post following a long throw in from Farai Banda in the 47th minute.
Last season’s top goal scorer William Manondo almost scored after a quick break on the hour mark, but his shot shaved the outside of the upright.
Veteran Rodwell Chinyengetere thought he had scored only to see Baye tipping it over in the 77th minute, and then Kawondera was introduced to exert damage on the Green Machine.
“Wonderful performance from Kawondera. We were looking for someone who can finish those runs and he was perfect. He has been trying all along and today was his day. I am proud and happy for him and the team.
“We will play each game as it comes and try to win as many games,” said Manica coach, Jairos Tapera.