The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe/South Africa: Sundowns Crush Caps

CAPS United still have a long way to go before they can assemble a competitive squad for the league campaign this season after they were exposed for their current lack of depth by South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns in a practice match at Gwanzura yesterday.

Sundowns scored their first goal in the 24th minute when Sibusiso Khumalo hit a rising shot when he got into the box from the right after being set up by Roger Elazaar.

The first goal by Sundowns at least brought some highlights after a rather dull start to the match in which CAPS United were bullied in the midfield tussles and were struggling on the left flank were Asani Nhongo operated from.

Sundowns increased their lead in the 31st minute when Temba Zwane latched on to a loose ball to lob over CAPS United goalkeeper Itayi Chiwara.

At the break, both teams made changes to their sides as they wanted to test other players but it was Sundowns who went further ahead when Pedzisai Gumiremhete was beaten from close range.

The Brazilians' skipper Teko Modise, who was outstanding in the middle of the park, then engineered the fourth goal when he worked his way past rookie defender Ronald Pfumbisai and then threaded a fine pass for Zwane to drill home past an advancing Gumiremhete.

CAPS United managed to get their face saver when Leonard Fiyado fired a powerful drive that beat Mamelodi Sundowns' guest goalkeeper Liberty Chirava.

Chirava, the Chicken Inn goalkeeper, has been drafted into the touring side after the visitors' only goalkeeper picked up an injury and this could be his golden chance to break into the Super Diski.

Sundowns rested their Zimbabwean trio of Method Mwanjali, Esrom Nyandoro and Nyasha Mushekwi for this match but they could be fielded in the match against Dynamos at Gwanzura tomorrow afternoon.

CAPS United coach Mkhupali Masuku, although not impressed with the result, was satisfied with their pre-season preparations.

"This was our first match of the pre-season and these guys (Sundowns) have been training for some time now.

"Some players in our side did pretty well for us and it's a good showing for us," said Masuku.

Masuku said he was also using the match to assess some of the players who could be featuring for CAPS United this season while others could be released.

"Some of them will be signed but I cannot confirm right now," said Masuku.

Former South Africa coach Pitso Mosimane, who is the head coach at Sundowns, said the match gave them good match practice following their 2-0 win over Highlanders at Barbourfields on Wednesday.

"I think we are getting enough practice. I liked the environment, people are coming to the games and we are trying to make out our team.

"We played a different team today to the one that played Highlanders, giving all the players a chance and at the same time assessing our brothers (Zimbabwean teams)

"It's good match temperament, Zimbabwean football is good. If it had not been good we would not have come here," said Mosimame.

Mosimane said he is expecting a tougher match against Dynamos when the two teams clash at the same venue tomorrow.

"I played everybody in the last two games and in the last game against Dynamos we will go for it.

"Hopefully the pitch could be better, it's a good pitch but it will better if it is softer," said Pitso Mosimane.

"We played a good game, we dominated, we have our philosophy and played a passing game.

"We dominated ball possession, we scored goals, so we are happy to score six goals in two games.

"That is good preparation for us.

"I think our team played well because we were more superior tactically and organised and we pressed them a little bit.

"CAPS could play the ball from their goalkeeper to the defenders and once they came a little bit close to the halfway line, we took the balls," said Mosimane.

Teams:

CAPS United: I. Chiwara (P. Gumiremhete 46th min), T. Kumbuyani (Dhuwa 54th min) P. Tafirenyika (W. Pakamisa 54th min) T. Samanja (M. Muchenje 46th min), D. Mukandi, A. Nhongo (R. Pfumbidzai 60th min), G. Phiri (T. Mahori 46th min), H. Zvirekwi, T. Nyamandwe, B. Zabula, (A. Chivheya 46th min), D. Chungwa (L. Fiyado 54th min)

Mamelodi Sundowns: L. Chirava, R. Henyekane (S. Julies 67th min), E. Rodgers (E. Baffour 45th min), T. Modise, H. Kekana (M. Abubaker 45th min), T. Zwane (S. Moriri 76th min) E. Mathias (K. Mngonyama 45th min), D. Mampuru (A. Mabaso 76th min), R. Sumaila (C. Daniels 46th min) , T. Sangweni (M. Nyatama 65th min), S, Khumalo.

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