Despite being billed as the match of the weekend, hundreds of football followers left the SSG Ground in Gaborone disappointed as the much-anticipated First Division South clash between log leaders Black Forest and Notwane failed to produce goals. Despite the extremely hot conditions on Saturday afternoon, both sides seemed determined to win the encounter, but hasty decisions in front of goal let them down.
Former Premier League giants Notwane had to finish the match with 10 men after Jautse Roberts was sent off in the second half. But Toronto managed to hold on and salvage a point from the evenly balanced affair. Led by their inspirational defender Ndobane Mothuba, Notwane took the match to their opponents but were met with resolute defence. On the other hand, Forest had their skipper Mogomotsi Kerebotswe calling the shots from the middle of the park.
Forest’s coach Bakanodi Maseko said their game plan was to attack their experienced opponents from the onset but unfortunately they did not get the goals. He said they wanted to take advantage of free-kicks around the box but it did not happen. “Defensively we were slow and on a number of occasions we could have been punished. I think experience worked well for Notwane on the day. Anyway, I cannot complain because a point on the road is better than nothing,” said Maseko.
This weekend, Forest will be at home in Mmakgodi to take on Sharps Electrical. “It is going to be another tricky affair for us but I’ve no doubt that we’ll collect maximum points. Our plan has always been that if we’re home we should collect points,” Forest’s boss said.
In response to their failure to collect maximum points, Notwane coach Wire Kaelo said, “I think at the end of the day a point wasn’t that bad. Yes, we could have converted one or two chances we created but it happens in the game of football. Kaelo further pointed out that being in the Premier League means a lot is expected from them. “Every opponent wants to beat us and it helps us because we’ve to be awake all the time. There are a number of areas which we need to work on before our match against Prisons XI (On Sunday at SSG Ground),” said Kaelo.
On Jautse’s red card, Kaelo responded, “it was second yellow (card) and he had to walk. I cannot have any complaints though I feel that the first yellow was a bit harsh. All in all I think the referee handled the match well.”
In other matches played on Saturday, Uniao Flamengo Santos were ruthless at home when they hammered rookies Mochudi Rovers 4-0 in Gabane. Bosa Mokgweetsi netted a brace for Santos with the other goals coming from Christopher Lemme and Boyo Lechaena.
Modipane United had another bad weekend when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Prisons XI. Rookies Black Rangers had a fruitful weekend when they thumped Sharps Electrical by a solitary goal in Tsabong. On Sunday, Rolling Boys beat Lesirane City 2-1 at SSG Ground, while Letlapeng and Mogoditshane Fighters played to a 1-1 draw in Ramotswa.