Defending champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs once again laboured to a 1-0 win over rookies Green Lovers in a dull beMOBILE Premiership match played at Molepolole Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. With both sides seemingly headed for a goalless draw, young winger Ayanda Molefhe came off the bench to score a crucial goal in the 77th minute.
The 77th minute goal was a relief as it kept Chiefs close to the League chasers. The defending champions are currently on the fifth spot with 19 points, five less than pacesetters Township Rollers who registered a 2-0 win away to Miscellaneous in Serowe on Saturday night. It was another unconvincing win by Magosi, something which is worrying head coach Mike Sithole. “It was important that we win this game to keep in touch. But I am worried about the number of chances we created, but failed to bury them. We will continue working on finishing (in training). Even the boys are worried about the situation and I think very soon we will be able to score again,” said Sithole in a post-match interview.
Chiefs have scored 15 goals in 10 games and none of their strikers have stamped their authority in the League. Sithole hinted that there might go on the market when the transfer window opens in January to look for another striker if the situation fails to improve. On the other hand, Chiefs’ rearguard looked shaky on the afternoon and if it was not indecisive Green Lovers’ strikers, they could have been punished. Chiefs started the match with Tshifhiwa Kgaswane and Tshepo Baipoledi at the heart of the defence and they were at times found wanting.
Keabetswe Jenamiso had to watch the match from the stands as he is serving a one-match suspension. “We have problems in defence because KB (Jenamiso) was out and (Charles) Mutero is far from recovering. But I must credit the boys who came in for a wonderful job,” Sithole said. Chiefs’ next two fixtures are quite a challenge as they face Police XI on October 21st at Molepolole Sports Complex, and against Township Rollers on October 24th at the National Stadium. It is these two matches which are expected to test Sithole’s troops.
Despite the loss, Green Lovers’ head coach Onthusitse Kootswele was proud of his charges following a resolute performance. “We played well especially that we came up against the defending champions. We defended well and created chances but we failed to convert them,” he said. Football followers were surprised when the League top scorer Moatlhodi Ralesotla started on the bench, but Kootswele justified saying there was nothing amiss with it. “We had no choice because he hasn’t been training with us since he is sitting for his examinations,” the coach added. Ralesotla has scored 10 goals for the Sub Marines in the 11 matches he has played for the club so far. After he came in as a substitute, Ralesotla looked out of sorts.
Kootswele was not happy with referee Lekgotla Johannes for intimidating his players throughout the match. “I’m not happy at all with the referee because it was like my players were not supposed to compete, while he was too soft on our opponents,” he concluded. In their next two matches, Green Lovers take on Miscellaneous in a local derby on October 21st at Serowe Sports Complex, and Police XI on October 24th in Serowe.