Saturday, March 6, 2021

Masitaoka, Fighters deadlock in weekend encounter

Masitaoka football Club fought from a goal down to share spoils with Mogoditshane Fighters during their Debswana First Division League encounter held at Molepolole at the weekend.

The two teams played to an entertaining one all draw at the Motswasele Junior Secondary School grounds. The result means Masitaoka, who are perched at the bottom of the 1st Division South league log, remain rooted at the bottom, five points adrift of their three fellow relegation candidates while Mogoditshane Fighters remains five points adrift from the team at the log summit and still in fourth position.

After going one goal down early in the first half courtesy of Fighters’ captain Ishmael Netty, Masitaoka put on a real fight in the second half to draw level. In a game of two halves that was characterized by a host of missed chances from both sides, it was Fighters who started the brighter of the two and it came as no surprise when they went a goal up.

Despite an early goal and their dominance, the Mogoditshane based team failed to capitalize on their supremacy with their forwards wasteful in front of goals. Fighters should have been at least three goals up at the end of the first half, but their forwards somehow contrived to miss two clear chances towards the end of the first half.

The best of Fighters’ chances fell to Kago Kopelo only for the player to volley his effort wide with the goal at his mercy before his fellow forward Nonofo Batweng missed another glorious opportunity.

Batweng, who was at the receiving end of a through ball from the back skipped past Masitaoka defense and lobbed the ball over the onrushing Ofentse Mokgosi in Masitaoka goals, only for the defense to clear the goal bound effort.

The misses ensured the game went into the break with Masitaoka only a goal down. From the break, it was Masitaoka who were quick off the blocks, forcing Fighters to concede a corner kick with the first minute of the second half. The Molepolole based team was proving the more enterprising of the two, but lost possession easily in the third half.

They however nearly drew level a few minutes later with an audacious chip from Patrick Bonang, only for his effort to be tipped over the post by the alert Fighters’ goalkeeper. With Masitaoka on the attack, Fighters nearly caught them on a counter attack only for Bophelo Loketo to miss the chance to take them two goals clear.

Getting at the end of a sumptuous defense splitting pass from the midfield, Loketo slipped past two Masitaoka defenders, lobbed the goalkeeper but somehow contrived to hit the defenders with his strike when scoring seemed the easiest. The ball rebounded to former Masitaoka midfielder Kabo Siang but he hit his attempt skywards.

The miss seemed to give an impetus to Masitaoka who should have gone level next only for Basimane Fly to head a free header over the post after some good work from Gabriel Mohalodi who had whipped in a good cross into the box. Masitaoka, who were on the ascendancy, finally got their well deserved leveler deep in the second half when Abi Ramodiane volleyed past Mogoditshane goalkeeper. Receiving a well weighed cross from the right wing, Ramodiane hit a volley on the bounce into the top corner to bring Masitaoka level.

Masitaoka nearly did a smash and grab in the final minute of the game when a good pass from the midfield went into the path of Keleagetse Mogomotsi, only for him to miss a sitter with only the goalkeeper to beat. The miss would be the last chance as the referee blew the whistle to bring the match to an end, leaving Masitaoka supporters ruing the missed opportunity.

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