Gaborone United (GU) is the only so called big team in Botswana to have struggled to win the lucrative Coca Cola tournament in its more than twenty year history. The team has been to a couple of finals in both 1993 and 2000 but they could still not manage to win it. This year against all odds, the team worked hard and reached the finals. This has given GU hopefuls that they might win the last edition of the tournament and thus remaining in the history books.
It was not an easy road for GU because they long parted with their coach, Elvis Chiweshe and ropped in Botswana Football Association, technical officer, Phillmon Makgwengwe as a caretaker coach. Makgwengwe has not done badly because he has managed to help the team to also reach the semi-finals of a new tournament and new kid on the block, Mascom top 8. Whether the team will this time around defy the odds and win the tournament that has given them sleepless nights’ remains to be seen. The finals of the the tournament are to be played in two weeks time and GU are already limping following terribly injuries to their trusted soldiers, Gobonyeone Selefa and Kgololo Leteane.
Makgwengwe is however hopeful that his team can win the tournament even if the two players cannot recover on time for the finals. Many GU supporters were in jovial mood of winning the finals after beating BDF XI. They believe that their team can beat Mochudi Centre Chiefs because Rollers is one team that has been giving them problems for the past few years. The most memorable finals for the reds however was the 1993 finals against hoodoos, Township Rollers at the National Stadium. That was a time when both teams had tremendous support and rivalry was at the boiling point.
GU had won almost all the previous encounters against Rollers in that year and many people saw another walk in the park. It was not to be as Rollers put a spirited performance and won 4-1. Rollers had players like Desmond Molefhe, Thabo Motang, Keitumetse Paul and the late deadly striker, Joseph Chikoti. GU on the other hand had players like current team spokes person, Gofhamodimo Senne, Rapelang Tsatsilebe, Koziba Masukula, Listen Kealotswe and Patrick Zibotchwa.
In 2000 GU struggled against Fighter that was then under the tutelage of Major, David Bright. By GU reached the finals when football was riddled by factions against the growing influence of army or institutional. Institutional teams were raiding community ones of their players and offered them jobs. This resulted in most community teams like GU struggling to keep players. Fighters were then being fully looked after by the army and was on a winning song as they grabbed almost every tournament on offer.
??Previous Coca Cola winners??1992: Gunners?(Gunners 3, Tafic 2)??1993: Township Rollers?(Township Rollers
4, GU 1)??1994: Township Rollers?Township Rollers, 2 Gunners 0??1995: Notwane ?(Notwane 3, BDF XI 1)??1996: Township Rollers?(Township Rollers 2, BMC 0)??1997: Notwane?(Notwane 2, Mokgosi 0)??1998: BDF XI ?(BDF XI
1, Jwaneng ?Comets 0)??1999: Mogoditshane Fighters?(Mogoditshane Fighters 3, ?FC Satmos 0)??2000: Mogoditshane Fighters beat GU on Penalties??2001: Tasc?Tasc 2, Gunners 0??2002: Tafic?(Tafic beat Tasc on penalties)??2003: Mogoditshane Fighters?Mogoditshane Fighters 1, Township Rollers 0)??2004: BDF XI?(BDF
2, Fighters 0)??2005: Township Rollers?(Township Rollers 3,?BDF XI 1)??2006: Notwane?(Notwane 2, BDF XI 1)??2007: BMC?(BMC 5 ECCO City 4,?after penalties)??2008: Mochudi Centre Chiefs?(Mochudi Centre Chiefs 5, Uniao Flamengo Santos 2??2009 Uniao Flamengo Santos?(Santos 4 BDF XI 2 Pen)
2010: Township Rollers
(Township Rollers 3 Mochudi Centre Chiefs 1)
2011: Extension Gunners
(Extension Gunners 3 Motakase 1)