Saturday, September 26, 2020

Makganati’s heroics capture hearts and minds

When the recent COSAFA 2018 tournament came to a close, the name Onkabetse Makgantai would have been on the wish list of many South African Premiership teams. Playing in a youthful Botswana team led by Major David Bright, the Democratic Republic of Congo based AS Vita forward was one of the tournament’s star attractions.

Makgantai, who won back to back man of the match accolades at the tournament, also netted five (5) goals for Botswana, ending as the tournament’s top goal scorer. Alongside getting the tournament’s golden boot, the striker, who is on loan at Orapa United, also wrote his name in the history books as its most successful striker from Botswana.

His five goals haul at this year’s tournament also took his overall tally in the COSAFA tournament to six (6), elevating him to the tournament’s all time leading goalscorer, a record he shares with Zimbabwe’s Ovidy Karuru. Despite such heroics and the concerted interest for his services from the lucrative South African market, it may be a while before the player can move.

Speaking in an interview, Orapa United spokesperson Kabo William said Makgantai is still contracted to AS Vita. “Makgantai has been with AS Vita of DRC for a while now but he was not that active, that is why we took him on loan. As far as we can tell, he has a long way to go before he can be available to go play in the ABSA Premiership in South Africa,” William said.

‘The Ostriches’ PRO further added that they expect Mankgatai to once again turn up for the Orapa based outfit in next season’s BTC Premiership as ‘they have agreed with him and his team to take him on loan yet again.” While his chances of joining South Africa’s ABSA Premiership are bleak at the moment, the striker was however upbeat following his heroics in this year’s edition of the COSAFA cup.

According to the striker, it is a big achievement for him to have received the Golden boot, while also showcasing the talent Botswana has. “According to me, I am on the right track. Getting back to back man of the match awards and also the top goal scorer is an achievement,” says Makgantai.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.