Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Erratic Chiefs brought down to earth

Mogoditshane Fighters did the unthinkable when they beat log leaders Mochudi Centre Chiefs 3-2 in a thrilling Be MOBILE Premier League game played at UB Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Before the Sunday game, Chiefs had gone 2 980 minutes without tasting defeat having last lost 4-3 to BDF XI in August last year.

Despite the defeat, Chiefs remain at the summit of the log with 60 points, 11 points ahead of second placed Township Rollers who were held to a 1-1 draw by Police XI in Otse on Saturday afternoon.

After hammering Fighters 8-1 during the first round tie played at SSKB Stadium, Chiefs were hot favourites coming into this fixture. Nobody could have guessed that Fighters would hand Chiefs their second defeat of the season.

The return of Chiefs’ prodigal son Dirang Moloi added spice to the fixture but because of his lack of match fitness, he had to settle for a place on the bench. Chiefs’ supporters, glad in their black and white colours, came in large numbers hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Magosi started like a house on fire, with midfielder Lesego Galenamotlhale opening the scoring with a close range shot in the second minute.

Fighters did not panic, they regrouped and took the game to the expensively assembled Chiefs outfit. With Fighters’ strikers Thando Moreki and Khumbulani Madziba fired up for the encounter, comedy of errors followed in Chiefs’ defence.

While Fighters did not immediately punish Chiefs, the writing was on the wall that before long, Chiefs would rue those mistakes.

Chiefs’ rearguard continued to fumble and in desperation to clear, midfielder Galabgwe Moyana handled inside the box and referee Gaontebale Malete did not hesitate to point to the spot. Madziba converted to make the score 1-1. It did not end there, the confusion continued to reign in the champions-elect defence and Moreki slotted home the second with a low shot from outside the box.
At the break when Fighters was leading 2-1, most of Chiefs’ supporters were confident that their side would bounce back. After all, they have been scoring for fun since the league started.

It was never the case on Sunday. Their efforts were frustrated by Fighters’ defence. A miss after miss followed and frustration crept in. Their supporters called for substitutions. With 20 minutes gone, it was time for the introduction of misfit Moloi. He tried to use his magic to get his side an equalizer. His overheard kick went inches over the bar. Less than ten minutes remaining, Chiefs found the decisive equalizer through leading scorer Joel Mogorosi who slotted home from an awkward ankle.

Suddenly Chiefs’ supporters found their voices. Their players pushed for the winner. Their defence pushed forward to add numbers leaving right-back Sekgabo Molebatsi alone to police Madziba. Disaster was bound to happen. Fighters took advantage and through a counter-attack Madziba outpaced Molebatsi to kill off the game. The fans, who erupted into song and dance, went quiet, only a band of Fighters’ supporters made noise. At the end of the spectacle, Chiefs’ supporters left the stadium with their heads down. They only took solace from the fact that the chasing pack failed to collect maximum points.

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