Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Police hold BDF to a draw

Police XI came from behind twice to hold BDF XI to a 2 goal draw in the first match of this season’s Mascom Top 8 cup tournament. After a lackluster first half that saw both teams go to recess without registering a goal, spectators were treated to a four goal thriller in the second half as both teams sought to get the best of each other ahead of their second leg encounter.

Despite a disjointed performance, ‘Matebele,’ as BDF XI is called, had looked the sharper of the two teams in the final third during the first half, but the team could however not fire a shot past Abednico Morapedi in-between Police XI goal posts. On the other hand, Police looked the more coordinated of the two teams but did not posses any fire power to threaten the BDF XI goalkeeper Takudzwa Ndoro. Things were however different in the second half as BDF made their presence felt as Pelontle Lerole’s scissor kick ball whizzed past Morapedi.

The goal gave Police XI some impetus to their games and ‘The Jungle Kings,’ as Police is affectionately called leveled matters a few minutes later as Gilbert Baruti fired past Ndoro after a good build up by his team. Police should have pulled ahead a few minutes after the goal as Betsho Pius danced past the BDF XI defence, only for Baruti to fluff a chance to get his brace. The Jungle Kings were then made to rue the missed chance as referee Joshua Bondo pointed to the penalty spot after the Police defence was adjudged to have handled inside the box.

From the spot, Khumbulani Madziba sent Morapedi the wrong way to restore Matebele’s lead. From then on, it was the battles of the technical teams as a raft of changes were made by both benches. With the game looking likely to slip out of his grasp, Police XI coach Maitumelo Letlamoreng substituted Ghanaian striker Ishmael Amponsah for Gilbert Baruti and Phenyo Molefe for Uyapo Seleka as he sought to add firepower upfront. His counterpart, Elijah Chikwanda on the other hand, brought in Mokgathi Mokgathi and Kabelo Seakanyeng for Master Masitara and Madziba respectively as he sought to maintain his team’s lead.

The substitutions nearly paid off for BDF XI as Mokgathi then saw his header come off the cross bar with Morapedi well beaten. The goal posts would then come to Police rescue once more, a few minutes later, as BDF XI sought a security goal that would take the game away from Police XI.

Having robbed Police XI the ball close to the centre line, another BDF XI substitute, Seakanyeng, skipped past the Police defence but his shot hit the upright post and went back into play. However, just as the fourth official signaled for three minutes added time, Police XI drew level, thanks to their striker Amponsah. The Ghanaian striker hit a spectacular drive that bounced off the top post and into the net to ensure both teams have it all to fight for when they meet in their second leg decider slated for SSKB Stadium on the 8th of November.

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