Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
Caps United 1 – 3 Chicken Inn
PRIMEIRO de Agosto are the current champions of Angola and, recently, they even went all the way to the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League after defeating FC Platinum along the way.
Translated into English, their name means First Of August.
Clive Augusto is the red-hot Chicken Inn striker who has been destroying defences in the domestic championship.
After scoring a hattrick at the National Sports Stadium yesterday, which sucked life out of Caps United in a Castle Lager Premiership match, he deserves the title of Primeiro de Augusto.
After all, primeiro means first in Portuguese, and the striker now leads the Golden Boot race with 11 goals from 10 league match.
His first goal came 23 minutes into the game.
He later doubled the lead in the second half after the Gamecocks got a suspicious indirect freekick, after goalkeeper Criss Mverechena was adjudged to have handled a back pass from Godwin Goriyati, in one of the numerous defensive errors committed by the Green Machine.
Dominic Chungwa reduced the arrears in the 76th minute after drilling home a low cross from Gabriel Nyoni and the goal appeared to re-energise the Green Machine.
But Augusto ensured there would be no tense finish when he expertly worked his way just in the Makepekepe territory and shot on the turn to beat the goalkeeper from distance with just 11 minutes remaining in regulation time.
The win put the Gamecocks back to the top of the table, level on 22 points with Caps United, but with a superior goal difference.
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas heaped praises on his players and singled out Augusto and Valentine Kadonzvo for playing key roles.
“It’s a great win, we had planned for it. We know Caps like to play from the back so what we had to do was to try and play high pressure so that they don’t play.
“But, they kept trying to play from the back and a couple of times we could have scored from that and also with our speedy attack, we were trying to get the balls into the spaces and putting men forward to get them on counter attack.
“I thought our counter attack game was very good. Valentine Kadonzvo was excellent, he was our key man because whenever he had the ball he was a danger and also Clive was clinical. It’s his first hattrick of the campaign, which is good for us,” said Antipas.
Augusto put Chicken Inn ahead after latching onto a cross by veteran Clement Matawu.
With some precision, Joel Ngodzo could have levelled the scores soon after the breather when he spotted goalkeeper Donovan Bernard straying from his area.
But Augusto extended Chicken Inn’s lead, albeit in controversial circumstances.
Referee Norman Matemera awarded the Gamecocks an indirect free kick after adjudging that Mverechena had handled a back pass from Goriyati when it appeared Chicken Inn midfielder Bret Amidu had a slight touch in the tussle for the ball with the ‘keeper.
Makepekepe formed a wall with almost everyone on the line but Augusto somehow found the opening, in the crowded area, after the ball was touched into play.
But Chungwa’s goal reinvigorated the hosts, who enjoyed the strong backing of a vociferous home crowd and somehow believed they could get something out of the match.
Augusto then returned to kill off the game on the 79th minute with a long range low shot that had a slight deflection from the Caps United defenders.
The absence of skipper, Valentine Musarurwa, through suspension, was badly missed by the Green Machine as Justice Jangano and Kudzai Nyamupfukudza failed to impose themselves.
“It’s very unfair for me to start talking about the referees but I thought he was also culpable in their second goal,’’ said Caps United coach, Lloyd Chitembwe.
“I am sure he is a big player in that goal and why am I saying so is because I thought the Chicken Inn player had a touch of the ball.
“I asked my players and most of them did allude to that fact that the Chicken Inn player had the last touch and by virtue of him having the last touch Criss had the right to play that ball and for reasons better known to the referee he thought otherwise and what do we do?
“Nothing but to take the result and move forward.’’
Caps Utd: C. Mverechena, K. Nyamupfukudza, J. Jangano, M. Mwanjali, G. Goriyati (R. Chitiyo, 57th minute), B. Sarupinda, P. Bhamusi, J. Ngodzo, G. Nyoni, J. Zhuwawu, D. Chungwa
Chicken Inn: D. Bernard, P. Dube, X. Ndlovu, M. Jackson, G. Goddard, T. Chipunza, S. Munawa, C. Matawu (M. Gaki, 85th minute), B. Amidu (I. Mucheneka, 65th minute) , V. Kadonzvo, C. Augusto (O. Tarumbwa, 87th minute)