Serowe based Green Lovers are a step closer to being promoted to the Premier League following their hard-fought 1-0 win over Mogoditshane Fighters in the Promotional play-off first leg match which was played at SSKB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.??Both sides came with a cagey approach to the game as it was clear that they were both not familiar with each other.
Manned by experienced captain Kabo ‘Branco’ Molokwane and Ishmael Netty, it seemed like Fighters were favourites to clinch the match. But the youthful visitors stood their ground and were not intimidated in any way. ??The visitors’ captain Rentse Keakabetse showed some signs of brilliance whenever he was in possession and won lots of accolades from the fans who packed the stadium to the rafters.
Both sides went to the interval goalless.??After the break, Green Lovers took the game to their opponents but they were let down by poor finishing. The Serowe side kept on pressing and they found their breakthrough in the 74th minute. Moatlhodi Ralesota managed to beat an offside trap from the hosts and outpaced his opponents before lobbying the ball over goalkeeper Onneile Ditshito.
The goal sparked lots of celebrations from the travelling supporters. Immediately after the goal, the supporters sung and danced to push their heroes to go for more goals.??With the game getting out of Fighters’ reach, Coach Mpho Mabogo introduced veteran striker Mokgathi Mokgathi. The move seemed to add more fire upfront but it proved to be too little too late. ??In a post-match interview, Green Lovers’ coach Onthusitse Kootswele said: “it was not an easy game to plan for especially that the play-offs were postponed so many times. We had to work on the mental aspect of the players so that they stay focused. I’m glad that they posted a good fight.” ?
?Kootswele did not have some nice words about referee Tshepo Gobagoba. “I was not happy at the way he handled the match. He made life very difficult for us. Anyway credit has to go to my players because they showed lots of character,” said Kootswele. ??As they plan to welcome Fighters to Bangwato capital on May 30 in the return leg, Kootswele said that they will work more on the concentration level of the players. “They are young boys and they may think we are done and dusted. That would be dangerous because Fighters would come at us. We are going out there to fight for our lives,” he said.
He called on Serowe community to attend the return match in large numbers.??For his part, Fighters’ coach Mpho Mabogo said his players were a bit fatigued following their midweek decider against Uniao Flamengo Santos. “It was not our day altogether. But I must give credit to Green Lovers because they came with a plan and it worked. I expect a better performance from my players in the return leg,” he said.