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Rollers extinguish Magosi’s firepower

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Mochudi  Centre  Chiefs   seem to  be   in  trouble  especially  in  the  attack  department  following  the  departure   of  influential  striker Keaketswe ‘Mara’ Moloi.

The  Mascom Top 8 first  leg  semi  finals held in Francistown over the weekend exposed  Magosi’s depleted arsenal with the team now heavily  reliant  on the  likes  of  Lemponye FC  Tshireletso,  Tendai Nyumasi  and  the  experienced  Onalethata  Tshekiso.

However,  the  lack  of  depth   in attack  at  Magosi  has  exposed  them  to  top  teir  rivals  Township Rollers. During the semi-final encounter, the evergreen Tshireletso came short of finding the back of the net while the groggy and misfiring Tshekiso continued with his poor form this season.

Nevertheless, Magosi who seem to be shy when it comes to spending on experienced players, are able to handle lesser competition easily. Against Rollers at the Francistown Sports Complex Magosi were moving at a pedestrian’s pace and   eventually became onlookers to the brilliance of Popa popa who are overloaded with talent.

Magosi’s frustration after the   Saturday game was telling as the players and the technical team were seething on their way back to the dressing rooms.
“I cannot talk to you now. Maybe later on, I am not happy,” said Magosi Captain Pontsho Moloi.

Even worse Magosi  will  have  to  come  back  from a  difficult 3-1 loss due to  damaging  away  goals. During the second leg, Maaparankwe  will have to score early and make sure they do not concede  any goals which is highly unlikely against a difficult  opponent like Rollers.

On the contrary, the glamorous MmaMasire Blues went on a spending spree this season. Some of the players acquired by  the team include Ofentse Nato,  former  beMOBILE  premier league  top  goal  scorer  Terence  Mandaza, Galabgwe  Moyana  and  Joel  Mogorosi. With  an  impressive  3-1  score line, Rollers  headcoach  Mark Harrison  knows  that  he  has  one  foot  in  the Top 8    final  where  he   will face  either  Orapa  United  or  BDF XI.

The   full  might  of Rollers  will  be  shown  in  the  second leg  scheduled  for  Francistown  next  month. The  venue  that  has  become  popular  with  football  nationwide  will  be  expecting  to  see Rollers  finishing  off   their  rival  on  their  way  to  the  finals.

For Harrison the  second leg semi   will  not be  a daunting affair  unless Magosi  pull  an epic  upset. Most  of Harrison’s  roster consisting of the likes of Nato, Mandaza, Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Galabgwe  Moyana, Sekhana  Koko, Kobamelo Kebaikanye and  Maano Ditshupo – has players good  enough  to  make  it  into  the  starting line  up.

Meanwhile, Chiefs  have  lodged  a protest  with  the   Player  status  committee  challeging  the  legality  of  Ofentse  Nato’s  presence  during  the Top  8 semi  finals.

According, to Magosi’s  spokesperson Clifford  Mogomotsi , Nato  who  joined  Rollers  in  the second  round  of  the  2015/16 beMOBILE  premier  league  season  was not  properly  register  according to  the  play  rules  and  regulations

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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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