Log leaders Mochudi Centre Chiefs proved their mettle and got closer to winning the beMOBILE Premier League title when they thrashed their closest rivals Orapa United 2-0 in an action packed match played at Molepolole Sports Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It was a sweet revenge for Kgatleng giants following their 2-1 loss at the hands of the Ostriches in a reverse fixture which was played at Itekeng Stadium on November 23 last year.
It was an own goal from Mosimanyana Letsholo in the 42nd minute which set the party for Magosi before skipper Pontsho Moloi settled the contest with a beautiful freekick in the 45th minute. The win has taken Chiefs to the 60 point mark with four matches before the end of the season. On the other hand, it was a setback for United who have been relegated to third position on the log on 51 points while Township Rollers have leapfrogged to second spot with 52 points.
For┬áthe first time this season, Chiefs head coach was seen punching the air in celebration after referee Tirelo Mositwane blew the final whistle. Throughout the match, Sithole could not afford to sit on the bench as he tried to push his side to score more goals. Time and again, he had to reduce the pressure with a bottle of water.
“It was a pressure game for everyone hence I celebrated at the end of the game. There was a lot which was said about this game in the media and for us to win it was a morale booster. We could not afford to lose the game because our eyes are set on winning the League. I must say that the boys lived up to the expectations though we missed a couple of chances. But that always happens when players are in a rush,” said Sithole.
Chiefs came into the match following their 1-1 draw with BMC on Good Friday at the same venue and were forced to make changes from the starting line-up. Galabgwe Moyana and Ontse Ntesa were drafted in the place of Ocean Mpofu and Wilbroad Mutale. “We wanted to press them (United) from the onset and we were rewarded. We could not afford to give them space because they are a dangerous side. We knew what to expect from them because they beat us in the first round,” Sithole continued.
This weekend, Magosi will be on break because of the Mascom Top 8 final but Sithole pointed out that he is not worried. “I’m not worried about our rhythm because I’ve experienced campaigners in the team. We want to win all our remaining four games and I’ve no doubt that the boys would come to the party,” he said. Chiefs’ next assignment will be on April 24 when they take on Motlakase at Serowe Sports Complex.
Despite the defeat, Orapa United coach Maxwell Moyo was not a bitter man. Instead he gave credit to Magosi saying that they were a better side on the day. “We came here looking for maximum points but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I think maybe the stage was too big for my players because of the publicity which was given to the match. Chiefs are an experienced side and they know how to win such games. Mind you Chiefs are top of the log and it was always going to be difficult to beat them especially at home,” said the Zimbabwean mastermind.
Moyo added that following the defeat, they will pick up the pieces and prepare for their next match against Township Rollers at Itekeng Stadium on April 25. “We don’t want to finish the League on the third spot, so we’ll go out for points against Rollers. We’re an ambitious side and we want to be counted amongst the big boys,” he concluded.
This is how both sides lined-up;
Chiefs: Mompoloki Sephekolo, Sekgabo Molebatsi, Ontse Ntesa,┬á Kaelo Kgaswane, Keabetswe Jenamiso, Galabgwe Moyana, Pontsho Moloi (Onalethata Tshekiso 77th), Lesego Galenamotlhale, Kekaetswe Moloi, Tendai Nyumasi (Phenyo Mongala 85th), Lemponye Tshireletso (Ocean Mpofu 70th).
United: Mosimanegape Roberts, Thabang Mosige, Mosimanyana Letsholo, Mooketsi Hlabano, Kabo Mungabe, Simon Mashadza, Mgcini Sibanda, Patrick Motsepe (Ronald Kefilwe 60th), Mandlaenkosi Sibanda (Lovemore Murirwa 58th), Hendrick Moyo, Patrick Lenyeletse.