MIDFIELDER Joel Ngodzo was in top form as giants CAPS United’s title bid passed the test with some flying colours at the Colliery yesterday following a crushing win over hosts Hwange in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match.
Ngodzo inspired Makepekepe to victory after scoring a brace either side of the half with John Zhuwawu weighing in with the other goal early in the game.
The Green Machine, who have now amassed 22 points from nine matches this season, are now two points clear of defending champions FC Platinum at the top of the log standings.
CAPS United came to Hwange under pressure to respond to champions’ FC Platinum who had taken overnight leadership of the championship race following their own win over Yadah who they beat 1-0 at Rufaro on Saturday.
And yesterday, Ngodzo was on the scoresheet as early as the second minute after veteran Hwange defender Felex Chindungwe lost possession onthe edge of the box, leaving the CAPS United midfielder with all the time to capitalise and power home a ferocious grounder which beat goalkeeper Taimon Mvula all systems out.
Ten minutes later the world crumbled on Hwange after Zhuwawu rose high to power home a glancing header into the roof of the nets and send the green and white masses into a delirium.
CAPS United continued to dominate play in the middle of the park where Ngodzo ran rings around his opponents at will and the visitors could have gone to the breather with a healthier scoreline had it not been for some Mvula heroic saves or poor finishing by the visitors.
Hwange’s efforts to reduce the deficit in the last half through some attacks revolving around Admire Banda and Dingani Maphosa came to naught on the hour mark when Ngodzo put the contest beyond any doubt with a well-taken volley from edge of the box after a lovely cut-back by Zhuwawu from the left flank to complete his brace.
The introduction of veteran striker Gilbert Zulu and Gerald Ngulube for Ted Ncube and Vasilli Kawe respectively, added some firepower upfront for Hwange but the CAPS United defence, well marshalled by former Hwange son Method Mwanjali, defended resolutely.
CAPS United coach Loyd Chitembwe praised his charges for the mental approach to the game.
“Our approach to the game was superb as we showed some tactical supremacy throughout. We were in a different class today and at the end the team’s performance was excellent. Hopefully we will continue working hard,” said Chitembwe.
Hwange coach Nation Dube conceded the early goals scored by CAPS United changed the whole complexion of the game.
“The two blunders that we made at the back made the huge difference in the match as we were now under pressure throughout their game but such is football,” said Dube.
The coalminers will have to pick up the pieces and approach the next away game against Harare City with some mental alertness to avoid seeing a season which started with so much promise fast turn into a nightmare.
Hwange: T. Mvula; G. Mulenga; N. Chinyerere; F. Chindungwe; A. Chuma; A. Banda; T. Ncube (G. Ngulube 64th min); V. Kawe (G. Zulu 64th min); D. Maphosa; E. Gwitima; T. Chese (E. Nkhulungo 40min).
CAPS United: C. Mverechena; V. Musarurwa; J. Jangano; G. Goriyati; M. Mwanjale; B. Sarupinda; P. Bhamusi; J. Ngodzo (H. Zvirekwi, 84th min); G. Nyoni (R. Chitiyo 82nd min); J. Zhuwawo; D. Chungwa (N. Sianchali 70th, min).