Thursday, May 23, 2024

Battle for second spot intensifies

Gaborone United (GU) is surely on course for the runners up position in the Mascom Premier League. Moyagoleele, as GU are known, made their intentions clear following their 1-0 victory over the stubborn Orapa side, Boteti Young Fighters, on Friday at the University of Botswana (UB) Stadium.

Friday was dubbed as the runners-up battle because the game that was played before the GU/Boteti game had an impact on the positions at the top of the table; But GU ended up as the only team collecting maximum points.

In the earlier game, Santos’ chances to solidify their position took a dent following a goal apiece draw with BDF XI. Although Santos still occupy the second position with 39 points, just a point ahead of GU. GU, on the other hand, got into the game knowing that Boteti were no push over following their impressive results in the past weeks. The draw has since pushed Boteti to fourth position having been in third place.

GU’s goal came ten minutes into the second half via workaholic Obakeng ‘Solo’ Gaanabeng.

Gaanabeng came in as a substitute in the second half and made an immediate impact. It was not surprising to see him putting GU ahead after being fed by anchor man, Kebatlogetse ‘Go man’ Batsweletse. Generally, GU was the better team than Boteti who were playing without their coach, Kenneth Mogae. The coach only returns from Cameroon today where he had gone with the national Under 23.

All Boteti dangerous men were less effective against the mobile GU. Their dangerous man, Kenosi ‘Drums’ Mokgotlhane, rarely made his renowned electrifying runs coupled with unbelievable dribbling skills on the flanks. Even the introduction of another dangerous striker from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Derrick Ntumba, did little to open up the GU defence, led by Noah ‘Stooge’ Kareng, Basarutweng ‘Booster’ Magola, Itayi Gwandu and Kabo ‘Branco’ Molokwane.

The man who engineered a lot of runs and defence splitting passes was sensational Mirror Ntirang. The under 20 lad seems to be maturing with each game because he is not afraid of taking on experienced defenders and does so with unbelievable confidence. Boteti found it difficult to cut most of his passes but, unfortunately, his compatriots upfront left a lot to be desired because they failed to convert. The main culprits being Ronald Chikomo and Sageby Sandaka.
Sandaka did not have a good game because he is just coming off the injury list and still lacks match fitness.

Boteti on the other hand had themselves to blame because they also failed to utilise clear cut chances, mostly from moves by Zambian hardman, Timothy Phiri, who had an excellent game.

After the game, GU coach Mike Sithole was more than happy with the results saying they signal good things to come for the team. He said the team would work hard to obtain position two because the championship position is almost sealed.

“Even though the referee nearly spoiled the game by not stamping his authority, I am more than happy with the results. GU is not like Chiefs where I had a pool of players to select from. GU is full of youngsters who still lack experience but I can assure you that in a few years’ time they will be deadly,” he said.


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