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Galaxy, Costa in CAF scuffle

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Mascom Top 8 reigning champions Jwaneng Galaxy will face Mozambique giants Costa Do Sol in a CAF Confederations Cup preliminary stage second leg match this evening (Wednesday) at the national stadium. The Jwaneng based outfits are aiming to reverse a 1-0 loss they suffered at the hands of Do Sol in Maputo a fortnight ago.

The home ground advantage will give Galaxy a new lease of life. Galaxy need at least 2-0 score line to advance in the CAF competition. Speaking during a press conference in Gaborone this week, Galaxy head coach Zlatko Krmpotic said his team lost the first encounter due to the psychological strain. “We did have an idea of what kind of team we were going to play against in Maputo, it was going to be difficult but we have learnt our lesson.

We are now familiar with the kind of team visiting us and we can turn the game in our favour,” he told reporters at Lekidi yesterday. In addition, Krmpotic said they would play with a single high pressing midfielder and unleash counter attacks most of the time as they need to attack the opponents before they settle down and play their usual game. “We will attack with cautiousness and restrain, we know they are a dangerous side and we need to respect them and not go all out, we need to focus and be at our usual best to beat this side because they are a good side.”

For his part, Galaxy captain Boitumelo Mafoko believes his leadership and the experience in the team will play an enormous role in the game. “We are experienced, we have almost nine players who have played in the national team and four who are still playing so this kind of games don’t faze us, we have the confidence to play big games.” On the flip side, Costa Do Sol headcoach Rvi Evura said they have respect for Galaxy but they came to win the game.

“We respect Galaxy they play beautiful football, you can see the processing of their play and their intentions but we also play good football and we can win this game.” Evura said they will miss a few key players, however they always focus on playing as a team.” We play as a team and we focus a lot on team play not individuals.” The game will be played tonight at the national stadium at 7 pm, tickets for the game are sold at Galaxy Stores and will be available as of today at all Sports Shops in Main Mall.

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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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