Township Rollers’ players have been challenged to live up to the expectations when they meet Gaborone United (GU) in a highly anticipated top-of-the-table be-MOBILE Premier League clash slated for Molepolole Sports Stadium Wednesday night, kick off 8pm.┬á
The call was made by their head coach Madinda Ndlovu on Monday afternoon, a day after watching his side register a 2-0 win over relegation threatened Notwane.
It was goals from Namibian striker Jerome Louis and Motsholetsi Sikele which secured points for Mapalastina. The win over neighbours Notwane saw Mapalastina returning to the summit of the log with 49 points from 23 matches.
“This is a game which comes with lots of expectations and being a derby there will be added pressure. We need to go out there and get the maximum points in order to stretch our lead (at the top of the table),” said Ndlovu.
In the first round game which was played at UB Stadium, GU’s Mathews Moruti came off the bench to score a late equalizer with Rollers’ supporters jumping up and down with joy thinking that they have won the game.
But Rollers came back strongly in Mascom Top 8 semi-finals to eliminate GU on a 3-2 aggregate.
“Cup games can deceive you and we are not going to take our results in Top 8 into consideration. I’m expecting GU to deploy a different format. It is going to be a difficult game,” added the Zimbabwean tactician.
Rollers go into the game crippled by injuries to five of their key players namely Godfrey Ngele, Manqoba Ngwenya, Leutwetse Tshireletso, Lawrence Majawa and Lesego Molemogi.
To add more to their worries, Rollers had their central defender Oscar Ncenga sent off against Notwane on Sunday after a second bookable offence. This means that Rollers’ technical team have to come with a plan which will ensure that they get something out of tonight’s game.
“We’ve got a number out with injuries but we’re expecting to have one or two of them back for this game. The injuries should not be an excuse because I expect those who will be selected to raise their hands,” said Ndlovu.
On the other hand, GU know that failure to get a result of the game might hamper their chances of winning the league title.
The Reds are placed third on the table with 47 points from 23 games. On Saturday afternoon in Molepolole, GU narrowly beat Motlakase 1-0 thanks to a strike from Tebogo Sembowa.
GU have gone under a lot of problems in recent times which saw their head coach Major David Bright being slapped with suspension.
But under interim coach George Mogopodi the Reds have been a marvel to watch. Mogopodi has also called on his players to show character when they take on the log leaders.
“The players know what is at stake in this game and there is no need to motivate them. We need maximum points for us to remain in the race for the championship. If the players are in the right state of mind I have no doubt that they will raise bar,” said Mogopodi.
When they played Motlakase, GU missed a lot of scoring opportunities something which gives Mogopodi sleepless nights. He said that if they intend to win the title his players have to be ruthless inside the box.
“It was the same old story against Motlakase where we created chances but failed to convert. Yes we got the points but at some stage we might end regretting the chances missed,” Mogopodi said.