Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter
. . . title chasers stumble
CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo was left frustrated after failing to capitalise on their rivals’ tumble only to follow the same path and settled for a 2-2 draw against Yadah at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
With Chicken Inn held to a 1-1 draw by Hwange while FC Platinum managed a 0-0 draw against Highlanders on Saturday, CAPS had the chance to go four points clear at the top with three games remaining but only managed a draw.
In fact, Makepekepe were lucky to come out with a point after Yadah were denied what appeared to be a genuine goal towards the death of the match.
The assistant referee flagged for offside despite the Yadah player having made a run and headed home a cross that was too high for a CAPS defender.
The Match Day 31 results meant CAPS – with 55 points – are now two points clear of Chicken Inn and FC Platinum who are separated by goal difference.
Dodo described yesterday’s result as embarrassing given they were the first to score two goals 21 minutes into the game.
“It’s very embarrassing, if you look at how we conceded the goals. How we gave away the game, it’s very unfortunate,” said Dodo.
The Harare giants took the lead seven minutes into the game through John Zhuwawu before Ronald Chitiyo doubled it in the 21st minute.
They dominated the opening minutes with one of their penalty calls by Phineas Bamusi waved away by the referee who appeared to have lost control of the game.
Makepekepe were forced to make an injury-inspired substitution after goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga was replaced by Prosper Chigumba.
Yadah pulled one back with a well taken free kick by Nkosi Mhlanga in the 35th minute before Paddington Nyamakura levelled matters on the stroke of halftime.
For Dodo these goals were ‘give away’ which Yadah did not deserve.
“We started well, we did what we supposed to do and we took the lead unfortunately we just decided to let it go. Very unfortunate.
“I can’t find correct ways to say it, we gave away those goals. It’s sad. Those were give away. And when you do that and you are a team that is on top of the log and you have such caliber of players who just decide to let a lead go just like that it’s terrible and unfortunate,” said a frustrated Dodo.
He, however, believes they have the character to win the championship despite having an inconsistency run of late.
He said it is not about the pressure of being leaders but how they manage the remaining games.
They face rivals Dynamos in their next encounter, travel to Ngezi Platinum and finish the season with a home match against FC Platinum.
“I don’t think it’s really about the pressure but how we manage things.
“Yes we got a point, we needed three points, two points lost. Character is there, there were some individuals who did just not do their duties correctly and it was unfortunate but we will correct that. I know we will come out right,” he said.
Yadah coach Genesis Mangombe was left fuming saying they had done everything to get maximum points only for the officials to decide otherwise.
“We tried our level best as a team but at times the match officials need to handle these games fairly.
“We were exhausted and tried to do everything to get that goal which I thought was a goal from my observation and understanding of the rules of the game but denied and we failed to win,” he said.
He, however, applauded his boys for showing character adding they have chances to survive relegation mathematically.
“We played very well, we matched that CAPS United, we also conceded silly goals but it’s a game of football.
“The players showed character after going two nil down. Mathematically with the remaining games, there are chances that we will survive,” said Mangombe.