Friday, April 16, 2021

“Wonderful” SSG side perseveres

The Gaborone Special Support Group (SSG) dominated side, Wonder Sporting, defied all odds to bounce back into the Med Rescue First division league.

The team in Gold achieved this feat by coming second to Moshupa-based Kgabosetso Callies in the just ended first division playoffs.

What makes Wonder’s performance remarkable is that for the past two seasons, the Enerst Nthobelang coached side has not had a rest.

Two seasons ago, when they were relegated to the second division, Wonder were immediately thrown into the playoffs as their last opportunity to reclaim their status in the first division. When they failed to reclaim their place, they were given only a week before the second division campaign was kickstarted.

In the second division, Wonder made a 26 game unbeaten run that qualified them for these just ended playoffs, as champions of the Gaborone regional second division.

For Wonder Sporting, these just ended playoffs did not pass without incident. The team played it’s first game against Emabuzwa Red Lions, whom they clobbered 6-0. They also won their next two games against Gantsi Terrors and Mochudi Rovers 3-1 and 2-0, respectively. Their fourth game ended in a 1-all draw against Kgabosetso Callies.

When Wonder were busy with arithmetic, counting the number of points they needed from their remaining games to seal it, drama ensued.

Even though Mochudi Rovers played in the playoffs, their status was questionable as they
had a pending case against Eastern Tigers, who claimed that Rovers were not legible for the playoffs as they were not the real champions of the Kgatleng region.

The initial verdict by the BFA disciplinary committee had gone in favour of Rovers, hence their participation in the playoffs. BFA authorities overlooked the fact that Tigers could appeal the verdict in allowing the playoffs to go ahead.

When Tigers appealed against the verdict, the Appeals Board ruled in their favour. This meant that Rovers were thrown out of the playoffs and Tigers replaced them.

This incident was a thorn in the flesh of the Wonder team because they were the only side that had beaten Rovers. The three points they got after beating Rovers were forfeited.

According to Wonder coach, Nthobelang, his team now has to play under pressure as it slid to third position, following the deduction of three points from them.

“The new log standings leaders led us by a 3 points margin. This affected my players psychologically. We drew our next game 1-all against Kumakwane Checkers. I could see that pressure was mounting on my players but life had to go on,” said Nthobelang.

Wonder went on to win their next two games 3-2 and 2-0 against Desert Nxau and Atlantic Swallows respectively. They drew their last game 1-all against new entrants, Eastern Tigers.

“We finished second behind Callies and thereby qualified for the Med Rescue league,” added Nthobelang.

Nthobelang said his team would be super-ready by the time the Med Rescue league kicks off.


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