Caps United punched above their weight on their way to a maiden African Champions League group stage appearance; dispatching powerhouses, TP Mazembe.
The second leg of the first-round encounter played at the National Sports Stadium on 19 March ended nil all but the away goal scored by the green machine in Lubumbashi a week back sealed Makepekepe’s landmark breakthrough.
Clear-cut scoring opportunities were far in between as both teams approached the game with caution, defending in numbers while either of the offensive players were often outnumbered whenever they raced into the attacking third.
Caps United goalkeeper, Edmore Sibanda provided a reliable last line of defence for the home side, and he also came up with probably the most potent Caps United scoring chance when his powerful free kick produced a good save from Sylvain Gbohouo, the Mazembe goalkeeper.
The home side started with a back four comprising of two fairly new faces for such a high profile and volatile encounter; Valentine Musarurwa partnered Justice Jangano in central defence while Phineas Bamusi stood in for the injured Ronald Pfumbidzai.
TP Mazembe were on the ascendency towards the end of the game as their chances of making it to the group stages waned, however, Caps United weathered the incessant pressure to celebrate the club’s greatest milestone in African interclub competitions.
The losing coach acknowledged the superiority of Caps United, saying the fact that their team had prevailed said it all.
“They have qualified; that means they were the better team [over the two legs],” he said.
Mazembe won the Champions League five times, and, they won the CAF Confederation Cup in 2016.