The Botswana Premier League is back and so is the excitement and the disappointment that comes with it.
The opening week saw a whooping 23 goals scored, with almost half of the goals coming from two matches, the entertaining 3 all draw between Extension Gunners and Mochudi Centre Chiefs as well as the lopsided 5 ÔÇô 0 defeat of league newbies Prisons XI by Jwaneng Galaxy.
Aside from the goals, it was same old, new season same problems in the administrative side of the league.
Here are the talking points from the opening week;
Goals Flo as Kgetholetsile takes an early lead
There is no doubt that the biggest clash of the opening weekend was between Extension Gunners and Centre Chiefs. Save for the administrative gaffes, the game between the two fading giants had it all for both neutrals and supporters alike, with six goals shared between the two.
After taking a two goal lead courtesy of Flo Kgetholetsile to recess, Gunners almost let it all go as Centre Chiefs came from behind with three goals of their own to take a lead. Kgetholetsile however had the last say as he scored a very late penalty to ensure the points are shared between the two.
Kgetholetsile’s hat trick means he is the first player to net three in an opening match this season and puts him at the top of the top scorers’ table early on in the season.
Mixed opening week for newly promoted sides
It was a mixed bag of results for the league’s new boys as they struggled to get into gear. While Notwane was an exception courtesy of their 2 ÔÇô 1 win over Security Systems, it was baptism of fire for their fellow newbies Prisons XI and BR Highlanders.
Prisons XI were at the end of some serious thrashing from Jwaneng Galaxy, with the latter putting 5 unanswered goals past the hapless Warders. Highlanders on the other hand lost by a solitary goal to last season’s strugglers Police XI.
If last season, which saw two then newly promoted sides TAFIC and Santos relegated is anything to go by, will this be another long hard season for the league’s newly promoted sides? Only time will tell
Galaxy lays down the gauntlet
After running neck in neck with eventual league winners Township Rollers for the title this past season, Galaxy on Saturday morning informed stakeholders that this season, they are in the race to win it.
If there were any doubts about Galaxy’s bold claims, the team backed up their words with a standout performance later on the same day as they thrashed Prisons XI to underline their title ambitions.
It may still be very early but Galaxy’s message to other title challengers was sent out loud and clear .., catch us if you can!
Different season, Same Problems
While the on the field performance in the game between Gunners and Chiefs was a good advert for local football, the administrative side was vice versa.
The game between the two had to start very late as both teams had come to the game kitted in almost identical kit. As a result, the game had to be delayed to allow for an alternative kit to arrive.
What happened to home and away kit? Why was the alternative kit left behind? Was there no pre-match meeting and all these issues sorted out?
As if that was not enough, the ticketing system was all but shambles. Gunners resorted to using stamped papers as tickets after the printed version were sold out.
Will the ticket monies be accurately accounted for?