Big guns sail into Coke semis
by Tshepo Molwane
Township Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Gaborone United (GU) and BDF XI sailed into the semi finals of the 21st edition of the Coca-Cola Cup over the weekend.
The four sides will go into a draw on a date still to be confirmed by the sponsors. Despite clinching their places in the last year of the Coke Cup, it was not an easy road for the four sides as they had to sweat before overcoming their opponents.
The match of the weekend was between Chiefs and ECCO City Greens at Molepolole Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. Having played to a goalless draw in the semi-final of the Mascom Top 8 first leg the previous weekend, there was a lot of interest from the football community to see what would happen in this fixture.
Little did the football supporters know that they are in for a treat with the match producing five goals. Playing away from home, ECCO made their intentions clear when they attacked their more fancied opponents from the onset. This is despite making four changes to the squad which held Chiefs to a goalless draw.
Missing the evergreen left-winger Lovemore Morirwa due to injury, it was clear that ECCO would pin their hopes on Patrick Lenyeletse to make things happen.
It did not take long before Lenyeletse made his presence felt when he stabbed home an opener early in the first half. Chiefs did not sit back and went in search of an equalizer led by midfielder Dirang Moloi who was making a rare start for the Kgatleng giants. Chiefs found their equalizer midway through the first half when Kekaetswe Moloi twisted and turned before firing a shot past hapless Chamu Madamombe.
Both sides continued to attack each other with Tendai Nyamusi restoring ECCO’s lead before halftime. But it did not take long before Joel Mogorosi headed home to ensure that the score read 2-2 at the break.
Both sides played a cautious game through the second half but it was Chiefs who ensured that they book a place in the semis when substitute Galabgwe Moyana hammered home a winner on the stroke of fulltime.
At Lobatse Stadium on Saturday, Edwin Olerile’s first half penalty was all that Rollers needed to beat a stubborn BMC side 1-0.
Mapalastina’s strike came early in the opening half and had to defend their lead for almost 70 minutes of the game.
On Sunday afternoon, lower division Molapong Green Birds’ fairytale ended when they were ousted by GU 3-1. Pako Moloi, Kgololo Leteane and own from Green Birds’ defender Emmanuel Mhala were enough to secure the Reds’ space in the semis. Tebogo Mapungwi scored the only goal for Mmpona-based outfit.
BDF XI secured their place with a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Uniao Flamengo Santos. Both sides were locked at 1-1 inside 90 minutes.