Highlanders defender Andrew Mbeba shields the ball away from Caps United striker Phineas Bhamusi during a Premier Soccer League match played at the National Sports Stadium

CAPS United . . . . . . . . . . (1)1

Highlanders . . . . . . . (0)1

NQOBIZITHA Masuku struck a fabulous free kick deep into the second half to break Caps United’s resistance and help Highlanders secure a vital point in an exhilarating Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match  at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

Those fans lucky enough to witness this contest were kept on the edges of their seats throughout the contest.

The visitors won a free kick on 70 minutes and the Highlanders captain stepped up to strike the ball with both power and accuracy that left  Caps United goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga rooted to the spot.

While an eerie silence engulfed the bay housing the Caps United supporters — a handful of Highlanders supporters on the other end went into delirium. It was Masuku’s third goal from a set piece having scored the two against WhaWha, taking his tally to four this campaign.

The goal won the admiration of Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe.

“I want to congratulate Nqobizitha for the free kick. It had all the aspect of a great goal. I thought it was executed very well if you look at the trajectory,  the technique used and the speed of the ball. I thought it was a very executed goal. But I want to congratulate both sets of players, they put a good show, they gave it their all, if we could produce such a performance it would be a good and competitive league,” Chitembwe said.

“From a result point of view, I am a bit disappointed by the fact that we were leading and  I thought we were poised for the three points, but in the second half we dropped a bit and when you do that it becomes difficult because you invite opponents close to your goal and such was the  case  with their goal and we couldn’t recover. It was bound to be our sixth goal without conceding. But in the end, we take the point.”

His counterpart Mandla Mpofu was delighted with the point.

“I can’t complain as a coach taking a point on the road, especially against a team like Caps United, who are a championship material if you look at their personnel. I thought they were in control in the first half, but we limited their opportunities and I think they didn’t have a shot on target but we allowed them to score a soft goal,” Mpofu said.

“But in the second half, in the first half I thought we were better if not stronger. We changed the formation and played with three defenders without changing the personnel and we looked very dangerous and overally, I am very happy with the result. We will take a lot of positives from this match. We want to make Barbourfields a fortress,” he enthused.

The goal by Masuku cancelled out an early lead by Caps United courtesy of Clive Augusto, who got to the end of a wonderful delivery from the left by Phineas Bhamusi.

The match, however, was ill-tempered and was characterised by stoppages with both sets of players remonstrating against the referee every time decisions went against them.

Teams:-  Caps United: T Mateyaunga, K Bulaji,  D Dauda, T Tavengwa, I Nyoni (J Thulani 51’),  R Chitiyo,C Augusto (A Karembo 68 },  W Manondo, V Musarurwa, R Chinyengetere (J Dzingai 58),

Highlanders:  A Sibanda, A Thend, R Kutsanzira,  D Mhindirira,  B Sibanda, (W Navaya 51),  N Masuku A Mbeba,  A Silla,  P Muduhwa,  S Ngala, P Mpelele

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