Thursday, August 6, 2020

Gaborone United cruise through

April 4 2010: Gaborone United (GU) have progressed to the second round of the African Champions league after defeating helpless Starlite Curepipe of Mauritius 3-0 on Friday at the UB Stadium.
GU’s victory means that they have won by an overall margin of 6-0 after winning the first leg 3-0. GU are now set for a duel with either Dynamos of Zimbabwe or FC Lupopo of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It was clear from the onset that GU will proceed to the next round because they controlled the game from start to finish.

The Mauritius side on the other hand looked like a team that had given up any hope of causing an upset by reversing the score line.

GU opened the score line in the 28th minute through an own goal by Curepipe defender, Damochang Sewray. He deflected into his own net after misdirecting the ball while trying to clear. GU kept on pilling the pressure and were rewarded with a second goal five minutes before half time. Mandla Mgadla scored from close range after Curepipe goalkeeper; Ammumothai Frannious spilled Sageby Sandaka’s powerful shot. The score line remained the same until half time. The second half did not produce any goal until four minutes before full time when substitute, Otlaadisa Mohambi scored with a powerful long range shot that did not give Frannious a chance. Mohambi was indeed a super-substitute because he scored with his first touch of the match. The victory by ‘Moyagoleele’ as GU is fondly known means the real battle is beginning, and history beckons for the team.

GU have already made a huge upset by knocking out South African giants, Orlando pirates in the preliminary stage. No local team has ever progressed to the group stages of African club competitions. The team that nearly did it was Township Rollers in 2006, who were unfortunately knocked out by Angolan side, Interclub de Luanda. Under the tutelage of Major David Bright, GU might go a long way because he has vast experience in African soccer.

He once coached the national team, Under 23 and Mogoditshane Fighters. It was however at the Under 23 where Bright made a name for himself. He managed to defeat countries that Botswana had never defeated in the past, and ended up being signed by South African Premier League side Cape-Town Santos. Whether Bright will make more history for himself and the country remains to be seen. No local club has ever defeated either a Zimbabwean or DRC Club in official competitions. Lupopo last played in Botswana in 2005 against BDF XI. BDF XI won 1-0 in Gaborone, courtesy of Mpho Mabogo’s goal only to lose 2-0 in Lubumbashi. Mabogo will once again face Lupopo because he is in GU colors.

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Sunday Standard August 2 – 8

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 2 - 8, 2020.