Sunday, November 29, 2020

Chiefs tightens grip on league log

Pontsho Moloi wonder corner kick was enough to seal all three points for Mochudi Centre Chiefs against a gallant Letlapeng Sporting Club.

In a game of two halves played at the Molepolole Sports Complex this past midweek, the Centre Chiefs captain struck a swerving corner kick that sailed over Mxolisi Sodaba in Letlapeng goal posts, to keep ‘Magosi’ at the apex of the be Mobile League log going into the Independence holiday break.

With their league rivals Township Rollers having usurped their lead at the top of the league log the previous day on Tuesday, ‘Magosi’ were keen to retain their position at the top and they showed as such from the onset.

Centre Chiefs dominated proceedings in the first stanza and should have been out of Letlapeng’s sight when the two went to recess, only for profligacy in front of goal to rob them. The Mochudi outfit should have taken the lead as early as the 12th minute when the cross bar denied Lemponye Tshireletso after his well taken set kick went past the stranded Sodaba.

From the rebound, Chiefs rattled the cross bar again before Letlapeng defense hacked the ball to safety. Barely five minutes later, Chiefs were at it again as Pontsho Moloi dinked a pass over the Letlapeng defense to send Keaketswe ‘Mara’ Moloi one on one with the goalkeeper, only for the Chiefs forward to hesitate and pull the ball back, wasting a chance for ‘Magosi’ to open the score board.

The Kgatleng side was nearly made to regret this as Letlapeng countered, only to be denied by Raphael Nthwane in between Chiefs goalposts. Mara would then go on to miss another chance in the 24th minute, ballooning one over the goal posts after being a beneficiary of messed up clearance from Letlapeng Captain Canny Gaontebale.

Chiefs would however find their well deserved lead in the 34th minute when Pontsho Moloi’s fortuitous corner kick sailed over everyone and nestled into the net, ensuring the Kgatleng side went to recess leading by a solitary goal.

While Chiefs had dictated terms in the first half, Letlapeng was the better of the two sides from recess. Perhaps encouraged by the slim margin separating them as well as Chiefs’ profligacy in front of goal, the Ramotswa outfit grew into the game and started dictating terms of their own, with their stocky winger Tshegofatso Chimuku causing the Chiefs defense endless problems.

The Ramotswa outfit missed an opportunity to level matters just ten minutes into the second half when a well struck Bakang Jori set piece bounced off Nthwane but there was no Letlapeng forward in sight to take advantage. While Letlapeng pressed for an elusive equalizer , Chiefs tried to catch them on the counter and the tact nearly paid off on the 26th minute as Mara rattled the cross bar.

With Letlapeng growing more and more in confidence and looking likelier to score, there was anxiety in the Chiefs’ fan base as they demanded for changes, also demanding that Mara be pulled out.

The only brief moment of relief for Chiefs supporters came not from the pitch, but rather from a stray tabby cat that streaked through the Chiefs’ supporters stand, sending them scampering off their seats, diffusing the tensions in the process. Chiefs however held on and saw out the match to ensure they go into the break still at the helm of the league log.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.