Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter
CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo said he knew what he was going to face after defeating his former boss, Lloyd Chitembwe’s Harare City 1-0 in a Premiership encounter at Rufaro yesterday.
The result saw Makepekepe shooting to the top of the standings with 41 points and keep their tittle aspirations alive.
Newman Sianchali scored the only goal of the match in the fifth minute moments after City were denied what appeared to be a genuine penalty call.
City appealed for a penalty after Martin Vengesayi was fouled by Prosper Chigumba in the box only for the referee to give a corner kick.
CAPS cleared their lines with Joel Ngodzo winning the ball to send a through pass to Sianchali, who volleyed home a scorcher.
Dodo, however, said his exposure to Chitembwe’s type of play as his assistant since the beginning of the season at the Green Machine helped him to snatch a win.
“Good win, it gives everybody some confidence going forward and I am very happy for these boys. If look at their conduct, the attitude the desire, it was superb.
“What we knew is we were going to play more or the same after being with my colleagues (Chitembwe and Nelson Matongorere) who are now at Harare City, we know each very well and we knew that the systems were not going to be very different,” said Dodo.
Dodo said their goal is a duplication of their training session having studied City’s style of play.
“We worked on counter attacks, we scored from a counter attack and we worked on that in training because we knew whenever they will be taking corner kicks, they throw numbers upfront and we worked on that goal and fortunately we got it,” he said.
The veteran tactician believes they frustrated Chitembwe’s boys with their high pressing football.
“In football, you also have to check on the opponents and you come up with a game plan. So I think that high pressing frustrated them and their defenders became more jittery.”
He said winning the championship remains their target and is not surprised to be on top of the log.
“The championship is something that we planned with my colleagues (Chitembwe), they were part of us. We set targets and goals with the players, so where we are today it’s not a surprise. We will put a lot effort to make sure that we manage to do what we planned,” said Dodo.
Chitembwe believes his players failed to manage the game citing tension which surrounded it.
He was facing his former team for the first time since crossing the floor and they handed him his second defeat.
“Our first half was not very good, maybe we were slightly overwhelmed by the occasion and it’s the nature of the game, if off pitch events appear to be bigger it becomes very difficult to manage. It was built as a very big game, it raises a lot of tensions, but at the end of the day what is more important is for the players to get to understand to manage all those things so that it does not affect their game,” said Chitembwe.
“The first half was the major undoing to us but it was decent performance more in the second half and mistakes were very minimum. That’s was the major difference, they got their chance and they scored we had our chances and we could not convert them into goals.”