Modipane based Mountain Birds on Independence Day overcame all odds to claim the Kgatleng Independence Builders World Tournament as they beat Mochudi Rovers 5-4 in a penalty shootout.
In a fierce clash at the Mochudi Buffaloes ground, the Modipane boys proved that they came for a mission and it was not a surprise for anyone when they took the gleaming trophy to Modipane.
Throughout the first half of the game, the Mountain Birds aggressively attacked and pierced through the Mochudi Rovers defense. Despite the persistent attack and endless creation of goal opportunities, Mountain Birds managed, through Bonang Ntsomeng, to score just one goal through the first and second half.
But the Mochudi based Mochudi Rovers were not just seating around watching the Mountain Birds snatch what has all been desired in the Kgatleng local football.
Kwadisa Motlhoki equalised in the first half. The match ended in a 1-1 draw in full time.
After a goal apiece during regulation time, it was time for penalty shootouts to determine the champions and Thapelo Serameng scored the first penalty for Mountain Birds before Tebogo Ntwaagae did the same for Mochudi Rovers.
For a moment it was uncertain as to who was going to Pocket the P10 000 first price money as all the other four Mountain Birds players scored their penalties, with Mochudi Rovers doing the same.
But the most crucial match decider penalty was by the Mochudi Rovers captain, Gosalamang Ratsatsi, who took the last penalty at a 5-4 lead by Mochudi Birds.
But pressure from the wild fans that were cheering and booing amidst the tense atmosphere and the fact that his goal would determine whether both teams would go for sudden death penalty shootout or whether Mountain Birds would be crowned the champions conspired to have him miss the penalty.
He hit the side goal post. His failure to score sent the Mountain Birds supporters and players running wild onto the pitch as they claimed what they believed they deserved while the Mochudi Rovers players and supporters painfully wept for the chance lost.
Even though the head coach of Mountain Birds, BM. Moatshe, complained that the referee was not fair in some instances, he noted that the game was fine. He said his team’s win can be accredited to his ideology that for a player to be successful in the field he has to have strength.
“I believe in strength, even though my players say I am training them the hard way, it paid off,” he said.
But it was not all despair for the Mochudi Rovers camp as their coach Patrick Molefe was optimistic that his team is going places. He said the fact that his team finished in the semifinals in 2007 and in the finals this year shows that his team is going places, adding that, “I have a five year plan with this team and I want it to be in Be Mobile League the coming season.”
Mochudi Builders World Sales Manager, Kaone Dithole said he was very proud that the tournament flowed well. He urged Kgatleng business community to unite in creating the spirit of self reliance through football as it helps in getting the youth off the streets. He also stated that even though they want to sponsor the tournament for as long as they can, the determining factor is the success of their business.
The whole tournament was sponsored to the tune of P50 000 by Builders World with the first and second price being P10, 000 and P6000, respectively.
Teams that fell during the semi final left with P4000.