Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Police XI derail Chiefs title ambitions

Mochudi Centre Chiefs gaffer Mike Sithole, was left to rue his team’s woeful defending and lack of firepower as his team was held to a one all draw by Police XI. 

After taking an early lead, Sithole was left fuming as his team spurned numerous chances before allowing Police XI to equalize just four minutes from full time. In serious need of a win to keep themselves on the coattails of log leaders Township Rollers, Chiefs got off to a dream start as Lemponye Tshireletso curled a magnificent set piece past Police XI goalkeeper Bobby Mathe early in the first half. 

After being fouled on the edge of the box just fifteen minutes from the first whistle, the winger dusted himself off, took the set piece and rippled the net to send Chiefs supporters into a frenzy. However, the winger, alongside his captain Pontsho Moloi, were the main culprits as they missed some glorious chances to finish off the game. Within a space of fifteen minutes from the moment they scored their goal, both Moloi and Tshireletso had missed at least two chances each. Moloi shot tamely into the hands of Mathe in the 18th and 30th minute, while Tshireletso stung the hands of the Police XI keeper on the 25th minute before skewing his 28th minute attempt from inside the box wide after some good combination work by Moloi and Onalethata Tshekiso.   Chiefs were however made to rue their missed chances as Police XI equalized just four minutes from full time thanks to Ogomoditse Sitang’s opportunistic strike.  Miscommunication between Chiefs keeper Mompoloki Sephekolo and his defenders saw Sitang come between them to steal a ball and slot in Police XI’s equalizer. “I am not happy with the game. If you look at the way we played, we had so many chances. This game could have been finished long ago. Football is about scoring chances, you create and score. But if you do not score the chances, there is nothing you can do,” Sithole said.

The Chiefs coach was also critical of his defence for letting in what he deemed a soft goal. “Even the goal we conceded was a soft goal. We made the same mistake last week when we were playing Rollers,” Sithole continued. While the draw dented Magosi’s title challenge, it was however not enough to dash Sithole and Chiefs’ title hopes. “This race is not over. This is not over until the last game. That is when you can say it is over. We will keep on fighting until the last game,” he concluded. For his part, Police XI assistant coach Maitumelo Letlamoreng said he was content as his team managed to get a point against Magosi. “A point is better than nothing, especially when playing against a team of Chiefs caliber,” Letlamoreng said. “In the first half, we did not play very well and we let Chiefs control the game. The second half we decided to take the game to them as we had nothing to lose. We substituted one of our defensive midfielders for an attacking player so we could attack Chiefs,” the Police XI assistant Coach said. With five games to go before the league winds down, the Police XI assistant coach said they will be aiming to finish on a high, with fourth or fifth position in sight. 

 Lineups:

Chiefs: Sephekolo, Othusitse Pilane, Kaelo Kgaswane, Thato Kebue, Lesego Galenamotlhale, Arnold Mampori, Senatla Molefe, Tendai Nyumasi, Tshekiso, Moloi (Thatayaone Ramatlapeng), Tshireletso

Police XI: Mathe, Katlego Masole, Otlaadisa Manyika, Kesolofetse Dikgakgamatso, Thabiso Batang, Letlhogonolo Senwelo (Uyapo Seleka), Betsho Pius, Nqobile Mpala, Phenyo Molefe, Louis Minjale, Tapiwa Gadibolae (Sitang)

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Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 28, 2020.