Mochudi Centre Chiefs snatched their fourth Kabelano Charity Cup title when they hammered Extension Gunners 2-0 in an action-packed final played before an electrifying atmosphere at Lobatse Sports Stadium on Saturday evening. Chiefs were the last side to win the one-day soccer spectacle the last time it was held in 2008 at the National Stadium in Gaborone.
On Saturday, it was a brace from new marksman Bonolo Fraizer in the second half which secured Magosi the P200, 000 first prize.
Earlier in the first semi-final, Fraizer scored the only goal of the game to give Chiefs a 1-0 win over Nico United and a place in the final. In the much-awaited second semi-final, Gunners caused the upset of the day when they beat favourites Township Rollers 2-1.
Letlhogonolo Mosala and Monageng Thaele were the scorers for Gunners while Kenanao Kgetholetsile scored the consolation goal for Mapalastina.
In the final, Gunners displayed good football which saw them overcome Rollers earlier in the day but it was not enough to outclass Chiefs. Having rested for only about two hours, it seemed fatigue was the main undoing for Mapantsula, especially after halftime. Their defence was often stretched by Chiefs attackers which had Fraizer, Patrick Lenyeletse and skipper Pontsho Moloi.
A delighted Chiefs’ chairman, Ernest Molome praised his boys for coming to the party on the day. He said they were deserved winners but pointed out that there are some areas which they need to improve on.
“It was good to win the tournament and I want to believe that once the players understand each other, we’ll be unstoppable. With the league not start this coming weekend I think it will give the coach a chance to work on combinations,” said Molome. Chiefs fielded four of their new signees being Patrick Lenyeletse, Lemponye Tshireletso, Fraizer and Onalethata Tshekiso who came in as substitutes in both games.
“I think the area of concern is the central defence but once (Arnold) Chaka and (Kago) Nfila recover from injuries we’ll be a complete side,” added Molome.
For his part, Gunners’ head coach, China Matlhaku, said he was proud of the way his team performed on the day. He said there are a couple of areas which they need to work on in training before the season starts.
“The biggest thing which needs to be addressed is our level of fitness. I doubted it going into Kabelano and I knew that at some stage my boys were going to crack, especially that we had little rest. But I cannot use it as an excuse because Chiefs were deserved winners,” said Matlhaku.
The coordinator of Kabelano Charity Cup, Thapelo Nteta, said that they were satisfied with the way things penned out on the day. He said that they felt that the attendance could have been better if the tournament had staged in the capital city.
“But we’re not complaining and we’re looking forward to a much better tournament next year,” said Nteta.
Local artistes Charma Gal, Vee and Dr Vom provided entertainment for the fans. Kabelano Charity Cup was making a comeback after five years due to the unavailability of bigger stadiums.