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Chikomo tips Orapa United to win Mascom Top 8

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Prolific Orapa United striker Ronald Chikomo thinks his team can scoop the coveted Mascom Top 8 trophy in their first campaign of the popular tournament affectionately known as ‘Tse Di Tona’.

Chikomo is an authority when it comes to winning the Top 8. He has won the Top 8 twice before with his beloved Gaborone United (GU). Chikomo was speaking during an interview over the weekend after his team Orapa United played to a one-all draw with BDF XI in a Top 8 semis final staged at the Itekeng stadium in Orapa.

“By all means it is not easy to reach the Top 8 semi-finals. This is a rare chance that comes once in a while,” said the striker, who helped Gaborone United win the Top 8 cup during the 2012/13 and the 2014/15 seasons.  Chikomo said they will be ready for BDF during the second leg of the games scheduled for the Francistown sports complex next month.

“I think we started the game in a slow pace because it was very hot we are used to playing most of our games at night,” Chikomo said after drawing with Matebele. The robust and free scoring GU legend said he was happy with his move to the Ostriches of Orapa thus far.

“I am happier at Orapa as I am enjoying more game time. It has been three months since I arrived and the team has given me everything I need,” said Chikomo who scored Orapa United’s only goal on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, BDF will have their hands full with not just Chikomo but the Ostriches’ newest signing, Onkabetse Makganthai. The former Nico United star is currently in scintillating form having changed the complexion of the   game when he came in as a substitute for Chikomo in the second half.  

“This is only my fourth game with   Orapa. I have been great playing for the team so far. Remember that   we are on a winning streak having gone 20 games without a loss.”

Makgantai said the fans in Orapa have received him with open arms adding that the team will deliver the cup after they proceed to the   Top 8 final. “The coach said I should deliver in every game and he was happy with the result against BDF.” For his part Ostriches’ headcoach Madinda Ndlovu   said he was   confident that his team will   win in the second leg of the semi finals.

“We played to a one all draw and this is a game that has its pros and cons, my team is more than capable of scoring. I need two goals to win and proceed to the final.” “This is the Mascom Top 8 and it is all about who wants it the most. How my boys to the goal against them and how they responded showed character.

They came back from    behind and fought hard for the draw.”  A content Ndlovu also took time to sing praises for Makgantai, his latest acquisition adding that he was a good player who will be important in helping to win games in the future.

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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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