Friday, December 3, 2021

Chiefs, Rollers renew rivalry in Mascom Top 8 clash

It is a game which is tipped as the match of the weekend while others say it is a final before the final. When Chiefs welcome Rollers to the National Stadium tomorrow night, kick off billed for 7pm, one thing which will be clear in their minds is revenge. Against Rollers last weekend, Magosi huffed and puffed and they were lucky not to have lost by an avalanche of goals. It was a performance which many pointed their accusing fingers to Serbian head coach Dagojlo Stanojlovic who fielded a total of seven defenders in that match. Lesson learned it is expected that the Serbian will come with a better approach to counter Ndlovu’s tactics.

Since the beginning of 2011/12 season, Magosi have not lost to Rollers with their biggest win being the 5-2 drubbing of their rivals at UB Stadium in August 2011. It is a game which introduced Zimbabwean midfielder Elvis Meleka to thousands of soccer lovers in the country. That day, he controlled Chiefs’ midfield with ease much to the appreciation of fans who packed the university stadium even those from the opposition camp. Ever since, Meleka has not lost to Rollers until last weekend and he left the stadium in tears. “It is not a good feeling to lose to your main rivals hence I left the dressing room immediately after the game. The pain of losing to Rollers was too much to bear and I’m looking forward to a happy ending on Monday. I think last weekend we erred by coming with a defensive approach,” said Meleka.

The Zimbabwean midfielder added that the loss was a wake-up call and they have been working hard in training in the past week. “This is a cup game and there is no second chance. We need to attack Rollers from the onset especially that we’ll be playing at home in the first leg. It is going to be an entertaining game and I would to appeal to our supporters to come in large numbers to rally behind us,” Meleka said. Since the Mascom Top 8 clash kicked off last year, Chiefs are still to lift the million-Pula trophy. They watched in the previous two editions as Rollers and Gaborone United were crowned champions.

In the league game, Mapalastina were simply brilliant and they were only let down by poor finishing. Whilst coach Ndlovu was a happy with the result he bemoaned their lack of killer instinct on the day.

Last Sunday, right-back Obonye Moswate was the one who brought joy to thousands of their supporters when he scored right at the death of the pulsating fixture. His name was all over the newspapers and radio stations. For Moswate it was a sweet moment for him as his previous club TAFIC have always struggled against Magosi. Ahead tomorrow’s clash he has cautioned his teammates against complacency.

“Last week’s win against Chiefs is water under the bridge and we need to approach this game with positive minds. It is not going to be an easy game for us because Chiefs will definitely come at us seeking revenge. But we’re ready for them because we want to prove that last weekend’s win was not a fluke,” he said.

Moswate will be making his debut in the Top 8 competition and he is looking forward to earning a gold medal in the end. He pointed out that he joined Mapalastina in order to win trophies and it would be a dream come true if they end up as champions. Rollers won the inaugural tournament when they hammered ECCO City Greens 3-1 last year. “We are aware that most people are undermining our squad and this is a chance to show that we’re a good team. It is our hunger which is driving us to achieve things and we’ll not let any negative stuff distract us,” he said.

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