Lanky midfielder Dirang Moloi scored a goal and created another to see Township Rollers stroll past BDF XI into the finals of the Mascom Top 8. While Friday the 13th is a dreaded day on the calendar, superstitiously though it may be, there was nothing ill-fated about the day for Rollers as they comfortably defeated BDF XI 2 -1 to book themselves a place in the finals of the lucrative cup with a 4 ÔÇô 2 aggregate score. After a cagey start, the game came to life in the second half as Moloi delightfully chipped a ball over the advancing BDF XI goalkeeper Takudzwa Ndoro before setting up substitute Jerome Louis to head home Rollers’ second goal.
Though Rollers would have been expected to start defensively, having won the first leg 2 ÔÇô 1 away to BDF, there was nothing defensive as the two teams sought to dominate each other in a finely poised match. While there were no clear cut chances in the first half, both Rollers and BDF XI created some chances which both failed to utilise. After a cagey start, it was BDF who registered their intent early, firing the first two shots at goal. The first of the chances came in the 16th minute when Othusitse Mpharitlhe’s set piece from a Tshepo Motlhabankwe foul narrowly sailed over Mwampule Masule’s cross bar. The Rollers keeper was then called on to make a save five minutes later as he fisted Mpharitlhe’s well taken corner kick. Rollers had their chance in the 26th minute when they had two consecutive shots at goal saved by Ndoro before Moloi shot the third effort over the bar. Rollers then had another chance just four minutes before recess as Motsholetsi Sikele whipped a ball across the BDF XI goalmouth but there was no one to tap home and both teams went to recess goalless.
From the break, it was BDF XI who started in good shape, though they could not make the good start count. In fact, it was Rollers who should have taken the lead when Moloi’s defence splitting pass sent Jerome Ramatlhakwana on goal, only for the burly striker to hesitate and be foiled by the BDF defence. With both teams failing to break the ice, it was always going to take something magical to break the ice and it was Moloi who delivered it. After getting at the end of a through ball from the Rollers midfiled, the lanky midfielder easily outstripped the BDF XI defence and chipped a ball over Ndoro to set Popa on course to the finals. The midfielder was at it again seven minutes later as his nicely floated set piece evaded the BDF XI defence and found its way to substitute Jerome Louis who easily headed home to ensure Rollers’ passage into the finals. Despite BDF XI substitute Master Masitara pulling a goal back with two minutes of the game remaining, it was a little too late as Rollers avenged their defeat in last year’s Mascom Top 8 finals at the hands of the self same BDF XI.
Rollers; 01 Mwampule Masule, 14 Obuile Ncenga, 18 Otlantshekela Mooketsi, 24 Tshepo Motlhabankwe, 23 Obonye Moswate, 28 Motsholetsi Sikele, 15 Lawrence Majawa, 50 Dirang Moloi, 3 Kobamelo Kebaikanye, 22 Maano Ditshupo, 9 Jerome Louis
BDF XI; 30 Takudzwa Ndoro, 29 Pelontle Lerole, 19 Othusitse Mpharitlhe, 23 Moreetsi Mosimanyana, 20 Mompati Thuma, 15 Thato Ogopotse, 11 Kumbulani Madziba, 2 Mosha Gaolaolwe, 9 Vincent Nzombe, 5 Lorato Mosweu, 7 Kabelo Seakanyeng
Man of the Match: Dirang Moloi