Gaborone United (GU) interim coach, Philemon Makwengwe, aims to bid the club farewell in style by winning the Coca-Cola Cup this afternoon.
The Reds take on favourites Mochudi Centre Chiefs at UB Stadium in what promises to be a thrilling final.
Makwengwe was brought to the club in April after the sacking of head coach Elvis Chiweshe but being a fulltime employee of Botswana Football Association (BFA), he has to report back to work tomorrow.
Makwengwe hopes to change the fortunes of the Reds as they have never lifted the country’s FA Cup in its 21 years’ existence. GU have been to the final in 1993 and 2000 but ended on the losing side to Township Rollers and Mogoditshane Fighters, respectively.
On the other side, Chiefs know the joy of winning the tournament having lifted the trophy in 2008 when they outclassed Uniao Flamengo Santos at the National Stadium.
“GU supporters deserve something and I want to leave the club having contributed silverware. I’m aware it’s not going to be easy but I know that my squad is capable of bringing joy to the supporters. We go into this game as underdogs but I’m not worried because we’ve planned well for Chiefs,” said Makwengwe on Friday morning.
The former Police XI and Tlokweng United gaffer added that though Chiefs are a strong side that does not mean they are not beatable. He said that they have identified Chiefs’ weaknesses and they are ready to take them head on.
“The good thing for us is that Chiefs win games before they play. I know that they’re not giving us a chance but we’re not worried. Chiefs won the league because they were scoring lots of goals but they’ve since dried up in recent games, which is a boost to us,” he continued.
The Reds go into the game limping as they will be without three of their key players. Ofentse Nato has moved to South African Premier League side, Bidvest Wits, while Gobonyeone ‘Shoes’ Selefa and Kgololo Leteane are nursing long-term injuries.
Makwengwe admits that the injuries to Selefa and Leteane are a major blow to the club but he is confident that those available would do the job for the Reds.
“They played an important role in our campaign but I’ve capable replacements. We’re going to play this game for them because they worked hard to ensure that we reach the final,” said Makwengwe. The Reds welcome back Tumisang ‘Butcher’ Sekanonyana from a two-match suspension after he was sent off during the Mascom Top 8 clash against Township Rollers. He is expected to play alongside Gaopatwe Seosenyeng at the heart of defence with the Kgaswane brothers, Tshifiwa and Mpho, playing as full backs. It will be interesting to see who gets the nod upfront to put pressure on Chiefs’ experienced defence.
Kickoff is at 3pm with admission fee being P50.
GU: Noah Maposa, Mpho Kgaswane, Tshifiwa Kgaswane, Tumisang Sekanonyana, Gaopatwe Seosenyeng, Alphonse Modisaotsile, Thebe Maiketso, Tshepo Molefe, Ronald Chikomo, Pako Moloi, Mandla Mgadla.
Chiefs: Mompoloki Sephekolo, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Mpoeleng Mpoeleng, Arnold Chaka, Thabiso Khunwane, Elvis Meleka, Dirang Moloi, Pontsho Moloi, Kekaetswe Moloi, Lesego Galenamotlhale, Galabgwe Moyana.