Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
CAPS United……………………………(1) 2
LEONARD Fiyado was the hero with a brace that ensured Mark Mathe continued with a fairytale start to life as CAPS United head coach as the Green Machine halted high-flying Chicken Inn in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Fiyado’s second goal, which killed the match as a contest, was a contentious one as the forward appeared to just have strayed into an offside position when he latched on to a loose ball in the box and fired home from close range.
Mathe, who took over from his boss Mark Harrison when the British gaffer left for Botswana, has now picked four out of a possible six points in two tough matches against Chicken Inn and Harare City.
And, crucially, his men are yet to concede a goal in those 180 minutes and a strong defence is usually key for any coach and, ensuring Harare City and Chicken Inn fired blanks, represents a huge achievement for the former Bosso mentor.
Fiyado was the man who ensured that Makepekepe bounced back to winning ways, after their draw against the Sunshine Boys in their last encounter, with a double strike that sent the Green Machine fans into delirium.
The forward did himself a great service to repair his confidence which had taken a battering following a poor run in the Makepekepe colours this season.
His second goal, however, was a debatable one as he appeared to be in an offside position when he connected a pass from veteran Leonard Tsipa inside the penalty box late in the second half, to kill whatever hopes the visitors had of making a comeback.
Fiyado opened his account with a brilliant finish just 12 minutes into the game when he found himself unmarked to bury a good cross from Tsipa.
“I’m feeling excited after getting these two goals because it has been long since I found the back of the net,” said Fiyado.
“This is my first time to score this year and it can only help my confidence.
“I wouldn’t want to promise anything, but it’s my hope that more goals will come this year.”
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas could not hide his disappointment with referee Jimmy Makwanda’s decision to let the goal stand after his assistant referee Collen Muringayi had kept his flag down when it looked Fiyado was offside as he received the ball from Tsipa.
The goal was met with protests from Chicken Inn.
Antipas was a bitter man after the match and had a word with the match officials before he left.
The former Warriors coach felt the Gamecocks were denied a penalty when Ishmael Lawe went down inside the box and straight from that incident they conceded a goal which appeared to have been scored from an offside position.
“I’ll have to congratulate the referees for aiding CAPS United because in one minute they killed the game from a penalty which they denied us and the next minute gave the goal which was definitely offside.
“Even a pilot in a jet plane could have seen that it was offside.
“I don’t want to talk much about officials, but that’s why they get suspended because of the inept officiating,” said Antipas.
Makepekepe rose three places up the ladder with the win to finish the first round matches on fifth position.
They will face the same side in their next game away in Bulawayo.
CAPS United played with two strikers yesterday and it appeared the decision by Mathe paid dividends as Tsipa and Fiyado combined well upfront.
Tsipa, in particular, had a good game.
He was the architect of the first goal when he beat his markers on the right flank and laid the ball neatly for Fiyado who was unmarked inside the box to give the hosts the advantage 12 minutes into the game.
Godknows Mangani then broke loose on the same flank few moments later but his cross was intercepted by Moses Jackson for a corner.
Rejuvenated midfielder Joel Ngodzo almost scored direct from the resultant corner kick but goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze recovered well and tipped the ball over the bar.
Chicken Inn almost equalised on the 25th minute only for Mitchell Katsvairo’s header to crash against the crossbar.
Katsvairo had another good chance but he couldn’t connect his shot well inside the box with about six minutes remaining before the half-time whistle.
The Gamecocks remained top of the table with 29 points and a game in hand, while Makepekepe have moved to 24.
Triangle are second on 28 points.
CAPS United – J. Muchambo, H. Zvirekwi, R. Matova, C. Mudzambwa, S. Makatuka, D. Mukandi, M. Muchenje (C. Machisi, 45th min), G. Mangani, J. Ngodzo (T. Mahori, 62nd minute), L. Fiyado (G. Nyirenda, 84th min), L. Tsipa
Chicken Inn – E. Chipezeze, P. Bernard, B. Mbiriri, M. Jackson, G. Goddard, T. Goredema, C. Matawu, R. Kutinyu, D. Temwanjira (I. Lawe, 60th min), M. Katsvairo (M. Dube, 82nd minute), C. Nkomo (T. Banda, 71st min)