It was another bumper weekend in the Botswana Premier League, with fans treated to entertaining football and goals galore. A total of 19 goals were scored in the six matches played in the League.
The main attraction was the fixture between hosts Extension Gunners and Gaborone United, played at Lobatse Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.┬á
After suffering a humiliating 7-0 loss to Rollers in the Kabelano Charity Cup a fortnight ago, Gunners were out to seek revenge against the national champions.
The motivation for Gunners was that unlike in the Kabelano Cup, this time around they were playing Mapalastina at their home base.
Though the game did not attract a lot of spectators as anticipated, it did not stop both sides from going for broke.
Outplayed and outwitted in the Charity Cup, Gunners took solace in the fact that they did not lose a league match to Rollers in the previous season.
After a goalless first stanza, the pep talk at half time appeared to work wonders for the home side as they got down to business in the 47th minute with Mosimanegape Ntwaetsile nodding home from close range to give his side a deserved 1-0 lead.┬á
It was a game which Gunners’ coach Dragojlo Stanojlovic was under immense pressure to deliver and he was fidgety and on his feet throughout.
Gunners were expected to grab the maximum points, but the unexpected happened at the stroke of fulltime.
Rollers were awarded a free kick outside the box and left-back Otlantshekela Mooketsi stepped up to take it.
From the resultant kick, Gunners’ goalkeeper Wagarre Dikago’s howler saw an easy ball slip through his legs for the equalizer.
It was a minute to goal before the end of regulation time, and Dikago’s blunder denying Mapantsula maximum points. The fans, up until then in fine song and dance, fell silent ÔÇô a painful moment for those associated with the club. Meantime, Rollers’ fans hugged and kissed in celebration.
As referee Tirelo Mositwane signaled that there would be three additional minutes, goalkeeper Dikago was little doubt the one player who wanted to hear the final whistle and walk out from the embarrassment.
In the event, the final whistle was blown, and the shell-shocked Dikago sank to the turf in tears, his team mates trying to console him.
Though disappointed with the result, coach Stanojlovic also went to comfort the Serowe-born goalie. A downcast Dikago struggled to find solace in the comforting words, for the damage was already done.
Though glad to have secured a draw, Rollers’ supporters were unhappy with their start to the season. Last weekend, Rollers gave away a 2-0 lead to share the spoils with Police XI. Against Gunners, they were once again lucky to go home with a point as they were outplayed throughout the match.
“Credit must go to Extension Gunners because they came up with a good game plan and held on to it till the end,” Rollers’ coach, Madinda Ndlovu, said in his post-match comments. “We failed to come to the party on the day and Sekhana Koko’s injury took a lot from us.”
Koko had to be stretchered off early in the first half after he collided with Dikago. It has since emerged that he will be out for 12 weeks.
Later on Saturday night, football fans braved chilly weather to witness the clash between two giants as Mochudi Centre Chiefs played host to BDF XI at Molepolole Sports Stadium.
Chiefs staged a remarkable comeback to beat the army side 4-2 in a thrilling match which left the fans asking for more.┬á
BDF XI had Chief’s on the back-foot at the start, grabbing early goals from Bonolo Phuduhudu and Pelontle Lerole.
However, Chiefs reduced the deficit through Onalethata Tshekiso to take the game into the break with the army side enjoying a 2-1 lead.
Things fell apart in the second half for BDF XI when Michael Mogaladi converted a penalty before Kenamile Mani and substitute Bonolo Fraizer scored to give Chiefs their second win in a row.
Magosi now lead the log with six games after week two, having beaten Gunners 2-0 in the season opener.
“In a game of football, it’s either you draw, win or lose. The team played well especially in the first half but things fell apart when the referee awarded Chiefs a penalty and our player [Bonolo Phuduhudu] was red-carded. Chiefs took advantage of the situation and deserved to win in the end. We’ve managed to pick up some points which we can work on before our next game against Township Rollers,” said BDF XI coach Elijah Chikwanda.