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TAFIC, Galaxy in must win encounter

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BTC premiership contenders Jwaneng Galaxy are expected to meet the Francistown based side of TAFIC Sporting Club today (Wednesday) at Jwaneng Stadium in BTC Premiership fixture. Galaxy are expected to be aggressive and push for maximum points during the game. A crucial win against TAFIC will see Galaxy swiftly move up the log and stand on par with rivals Township Rollers with 49 points each. Rollers dropped points after failing to contain the unpredictable Orapa United this past Monday at Itekeng Stadium. Popa succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. Galaxy will be hoping to advantage and catch up with the title favourites.

The 2016/2017 Mascom Top 8 Champions will be looking for the last piece of silverware after they failed to defend their title this season. Galaxy further suffered crushing loss during their debut at the CAF championships league having been tossed out in the preliminary stage. If there is any hope for Galaxy this season, it avoiding the loss of points and focusing on the last seven games. Galaxy’s Serbian coach Zlatko Krmpotic will be forced to play his cards close to the chest. Strategic will be key when they face TAFIC. Matjimenyenga are a on survival mode and they are not to be taken lightly; actually, it was the same team that humbled the Galaxy with a 1-0 win during the first leg of the 2017/18 Season.

Krmpotic who is still finding his ground at Galaxy will be relying on the experienced legs of Tebogo Sembowa, Patrick Kaunda and Ayanda Molefhe among others. Meanwhile with only a few weeks left before the end of the season, TAFIC has enough problems as it is. The team is currently battling to escape the relegation axe. Matjimenyenga are currently limping at position 13 in the log standings. Having only been promoted to the elite league last season, the Francistown outfit cannot afford another spell in the National First Division. The promotion to the elite league had brought much needed excitement to the football supporters in the lucrative Francistown area.

Despite the challenges that have been plaguing TAFIC in and out of the pitch, the team has managed a mixed run thus far. From their last five played fixtures, TAFIC registered only one loss to BDF XI, drew two and won two. In the absence of TAFIC headcoach Coach Rapelang Razor Tsatsilebe who is still serving suspension, Assistant Coach Kentse Motlhale and Wrist Mmusi will be in charge. The match is expected to mark the return of right back Elijah Motseoatile who has been absent serving his suspension for his two consecutive yellow cards. Kick off time is 1700hrs.

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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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