Mochudi Centre Chiefs now need to win four of their eight remaining games to be officially crowned 2006/2007 Mascom Premier League champions. This comes after walloping fellow contenders, Uniao Flamengo Santos, 2-1 at the UB Stadium on Friday night.
Santos, who now has 38 points from 21 games, can only pocket a maximum of 65 points from their remaining nine games. If Chiefs win four games, that would mean they make 66 points to be undisputed champions.
Chiefs, who are still to lose a game, once again displayed carpet football that has elevated them to the top of the table from the moment the league started.
Centre Chiefs anchor man, Tshepho “Talk Talk’ Motlhabankwe, once again played the game of his life, thwarting many menacing Santos attacks. Their top marksman, Jerome ‘Jay Jay’ Ramatlhakwane, showed his intentions to win the golden boot award.
Ramatlhkwane has increased his tally to fourteen after scoring Chiefs’ second goal.
Santos, on the other hand, seems to have lost the winning spark they have been displaying for the most part of the league campaign. They have now lost the third of their last four games.
The Raphael Phiri-led side was a bit shaky at the back and the services of the injured Seabo Gabanakgosi were solely missed. Before Gabanakgosi was injured, influential defender, Khumo ‘Shoes’ Motlhabane, missed two games after allegedly falling out with the management. Even upfront their red sparks were rarely ignited. The absence of Ringo Rankgomo was also there for everybody to see. Fellow strikers missed several opportunities that could have, at least earned, Santos a draw.
Chiefs forwards, like Mpho Mabogo, Ramatlhakwane and Pontsho Moloi, were too hot to handle for Santos. Elijah Phiriepa, who had a good game in the middle of the park, nearly opened the scoring in the 23rd minute but his shot hit the cross bar with goalie Raphael Nthwaane at his mercy. It was not surprising when Mabogo opened the scoring nine minutes before half time following Moloi’s cross. Santos defence did not keep a hawk’s eye on the blind spots and Mabogo took advantage of that, leaving Nthwaane sprawled on the tuff. Chiefs led 1-0 at halftime and increased their tally in the 64th minute.
Ramatlhakwane really exposed Santos defence by his solo effort. He received the ball just inside the box and went to the retreating defenders. Instead of closing in on him they just watched and he scored from a very tight angle. After the goal, Chiefs players were complacent and squandered several of the chances that came their way. Santos pulled one back two minutes before full time through Godfrey Noelle. The goal was a little too late for them and Centre Chiefs’ winning streak just continued.
Their next assignment is against bottom placed Jwaneng Comets at Galaxy Stadium next weekend. Many people are now keenly watching whether Magosi would lose a game before they could win their first ever league championship.