Makepekepe reminded their rivals of their serious ambition in this year’s Castle Lager Premiership soccer championship race after they staged a sensational comeback in the last five minutes of the Harare Derby to snatch a point from old rivals Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium yesterday. Makepekepe stared what could have been their biggest and most frustrating defeat this year as they found themselves trailing 3-0 with 85 minutes played yesterday. However, coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s men did the unthinkable to salvage a crucial point that kept them at the top of the log standings with three games remaining in the season. Centre-back Dennis Dauda was the unlikely hero when he grabbed a late brace that sandwiched Amon Kambanje’s 88th minute goal to set the stage for a spine-tingling finish.
CAPS United… (0) 3
Dynamos . . . . (1) 3
Still, one could have been forgiven for thinking that CAPS United had won the match considering the way they celebrated after the match. This was one of the greatest comebacks in the Harare Derby since the 70’s when the teams begun their rivalry. In fact, CAPS United could have pulled a sensational victory had Ronald Pfumbidzai’s header found the right elevation deep in added time.
“Those are very good signs of greatness in this team. I have always said that. There is something special within the group,” said Chitembwe. “All the same I had thought the gloss had been taken away by the first half performance and part of the second half performance. But the last 15 minutes were brilliant. “The whole idea is to try and at least collect a point and I’m happy with the point, but naturally not so happy with how we played for the most part of the game.
“But, of course, collecting a point against Dynamos is a very good thing. “It’s a point well deserved, they are not a Mickey Mouse team and at the end of the day I thought the boys really applied themselves and they deserved that point.” The point was received almost like a win considering Makepekepe had resigned to fate after taking a 0-3 battering courtesy of goals from Roderick Mutuma, Masimba Mambare and substitute Tawanda Macheke.
Mutuma put DeMbare ahead after nine minutes of play when he reacted the fastest to punish Makepekepe goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo, who had failed to do the basics with a low shot from Dynamos’ man of the moment Brett Amidu.
The Glamour Boys enjoyed the better of the exchanges but they also had goalkeeper Ashley Reyners to thank for keeping Makepekepe at bay with some important saves. Makepekepe midfielder Abbas Amidu crashed his header against the upright in the 33rd minute and DeMbare survived from the melee as Sydney Linyama cleared the ball from the line.
The Green Machine, however, suffered a huge setback when Masimba Mambare doubled DeMbare’s lead with a well-executed chip over the goalkeeper after Brett Amidu had again done the damage on the left flank before squaring the ball.
Newboy Macheke then had the easiest of tasks to accomplish in the 73rd minute when goalkeeper Muchambo and his captain Stephen Makatuka collided inside the box when going for a low cross by Mambare.
DeMbare’s assistant coach Murape Murape was ecstatic as he took to the dance floor with some fancy footwork which seemed to mock their opponents. In that state of emotion, he made some gestures which caught the attention of fourth official Nomore Musundire, who recommended his expulsion from the bench. But then CAPS United, who now enjoy a one point advantage at the top of the table after taking their tally to 54, refused to throw in the towel as bitter rivals Highlanders were winning 3-1 against Bulawayo City to move to 53 points.
Dauda headed home CAPS United’s opener when he jumped the highest in a crowded area after Simba Nhivi’s shot had come off the crossbar as DeMbare found themselves under siege from a corner taken by Ronald Pfumbidzai.
Kambanje then gave CAPS United reason to believe with the second goal, another header but this time from a free-kick taken by Hardlife Zvirekwi just outside the penalty box. Dynamos defenders were found wanting late in the game when it came to set-pieces and the absence of skipper Stephen Aliemnda, who got injured 10 minutes from regulation time was telling.
And when CAPS United won another corner deep in added time, DeMbare’s fears were confirmed as Dauda headed home the equaliser at the backpost. DeMbare coach Lloyd Mutasa nearly came short of accusing some of his players of stabbing him in the back after giving away such a healthy lead. “There are certain players who didn’t play to instruction. “Instead of doing their defensive duties, they resorted to their own type of football.
“It’s disappointing that you take a 3-0 lead and some youngsters threw caution to the wind. “We conceded three similar goals coming from the blind side where we had assigned people, it’s very disappointing. “To us it was game over (when leading 3-0) but as a coach you cannot go onto the pitch and play. “You can only but assign players to do their duties. And if they cannot do that under such circumstances then you may end up thinking there is a hidden agenda behind it,” said Mutasa.
J. Muchambo, H. Zvirekwi, R. Pfumbidzai, S. Makatuka, D. Dauda, D. Chafa (K. Nyamupfukudza, 71st minute), J. Ngodzo, B. Amidu (A. Kambanje, 71st minute), T. Rusike (M. Muchenje, 80th minute), S. Nhivi, D. Chungwa
A. Reyners, G. Murwira, O. Mushure, O. Mwerahari, S. Linyama, S. Alimenda (W. Mutasa, 81st minute), D. Mukandi, B. Amidu, T. Sadiki (V. Ndaba, 80th minute), M. Mambare, R. Mutuma (T. Macheke, 70th minute)