Monday, November 28, 2022

Big guns vie for Coca-Cola semi-finals

Stakes will be high this coming weekend when the quarterfinals of the lucrative Coca-Cola Cup get underway across the country.

The draw for the quarterfinals was conducted at the Main Mall and saw several big guns avoiding each other.

Of the nine teams that are still in the running for the P500 000 first prize money, only two teams are yet to win the tournament and might see this as an opportunity to win something this season because the league championships is slowly evading them.

The two teams still in the tournament and that are yet to win the Coca Cola Cup are Ecco City Green and Motlakase.

Ecco City Green, however, reached the finals of the Coca-Cola tournament in 2007 and lost to fellow meat boys, BMC.

Motlakase on the other hand have been in the Premier League for only two seasons now and are threatened by the dreaded relegation axe.

Ecco City will play Township Rollers in the last match before reaching the quarterfinals.
The winner between the two teams will slug it out with 2009 winners, Uniao Flamengo Santos. Motlakase on the other hand will be looking forward to their first ever semi-final appearance when they sweat it out with BMC.

2007 winners, BMC, will also not want to be knocked out in the latest stage of the tournament because, as things stand, the league championship looks to be out of their reach.

The Coca-Cola tournament is also a tough call for Motlakase because the further they progress in the tournament, the more they are likely to sink deeper into the relegation zone.

Another entertaining encounter will be between 2008 winners, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and 1998 and 2004 champions BDF XI.

Since the beginning of the second round, Centre Chiefs have been spitting fire and are currently lying in second spot behind Rollers, who are seven points clear.

Centre Chiefs have also made it clear that they want to win the Coca-Cola tournament because they would need more than luck to win the league championships.

What can however be noted about BDF XI is that their incumbent coach, Losika Keatlholetswe, was the one who was at the helm when they won the Coca-Cola Cup in 1998 when they beat Jwaneng Comets by a solitary goal. Keatlholetswe re-joined the team that groomed him last year and, against all odds, is doing well.

Having been outside main-stream coaching for almost 15 years, he seems to have not lost track of it.

BDF XI is currently doing well in the league despite the thin squad they have.

Keatlholetswe might use that 1998 magic to help Matebele overcome stubborn Magosi.

One match that is also likely to produce fireworks will be between Gunners and Notwane. Gunners have been trophyless for some time and might see this as an ideal opportunity to redeem their image. They are, however, holding the history of winning the inaugural tournament in 1992.

Three time winners Notwane face another dry season and the Coca-Cola Cup is their ideal opportunity.
The venues for the tournament games will be announced this week.


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