Saturday, September 26, 2020

Popular teams in Coca-Cola Cup Centre stage

This year’s Coca-Cola tournament promises to be a thriller, as Botswana’s most popular teams have qualified for the semi-finals.

Although one semi final slot is yet to be filled, three popular teams, Township Rollers, Extension Gunners and Mogoditshane Fighters, have already secured themselves slots.

The remaining slot will be filled by either Mochudi Centre Chiefs or Tafic. Both teams enjoy a lot of support and either one of them will give the fans something to cheer about.

During the early and mid nineties, the community-based teams, which generally enjoy the country’s largest following, were dominant in the Coca Cola tournament. Thereafter, the tide changed, as institutional teams took the fort. But the community teams are once again gaining momentum, and indications are that thrilling Coca-Cola finals are back in vogue.

Township Rollers have won the Coca-Cola Cup more than any other team. The only team that stands to equal Rollers’ record is Mogoditshane Fighters who have won it three times. Rollers won it in 1993, ‘94, ‘96 and 2005. If they win it again this year it will take ages for local teams to match their record.
Rollers made it to the semi-finals after eliminating defending champions, Uniao Flamengo Santos on Sunday at Molepolole Sports Complex.

Gunners, on the other hand, won the inaugural tournament in 1992 after beating Tafic 3-2. Since then they only managed to qualify for two finals in 1994 and 2001. This year the Peleng Boys, as Gunners are affectionately known, would want to redeem their image, as they have not won any silverware in a long time.

Fighters are the only First Division side in the semi-finals. They are also one of the two teams to have won the tournament three times. Nevertheless, no team has ever won the tournament while campaigning in the First Division. The furthest any first division side has gone is to reach the finals.

Fighters won the tournament in 2003, after beating Rollers 1-0. Rollers were by then campaigning in the First Division while Fighters were in the Premier League. Fighters look to be on a roll, as they eliminated league champions Gaborone United from the tournament over the weekend. Another First Division team that reached the finals was Ramotswa based side, Mokgosi Young Fighters, who lost to Notwane in 1997.

Mochudi Centre Chiefs on the other hand won the tournament for the first time in 2008 while Tafic did it in 2002. Chiefs still command popular support and they draw massive crowds wherever they play.

Tafic’s support has dwindled because they have not been doing well. But their progression into the late stages of the tournament might help them to regain their support.
Previous Coca Cola winners

1992: Gunners
(Gunners 3, Tafic 2)

1993: Township Rollers
(Township Rollers 4, GU 1)

1994: Township Rollers
Township Rollers, 2 Gunners 0
1995: Notwane
(Notwane 3, BDF XI 1)

1996: Township Rollers
(Township Rollers 2, BMC 0)

1997: Notwane
(Notwane 2, Mokgosi 0)

1998: BDF XI
(BDF XI 1, Jwaneng
Comets 0)

1999: Mogoditshane Fighters
(Mogoditshane Fighters 3,
FC Satmos 0)

2000: Mogoditshane Fighters

2001: Tasc
Tasc 2, Gunners 0

2002: Tafic
(Tafic beat Tasc on penalties)

2003: Mogoditshane Fighters
Mogoditshane Fighters 1, Township Rollers 0)

2004: BDF XI
(BDF 2, Fighters 0)

2005: Township Rollers
(Township Rollers 3,
BDF XI 1)

2006: Notwane
(Notwane 2, BDF XI 1)

2007: BMC
(BMC 5 ECCO City 4,
after penalties)

2008: Mochudi Centre Chiefs
(Mochudi Centre Chiefs 5, Uniao Flamengo Santos 2

2009 Uniao Flamengo Santos
(Santos 4 BDF XI 2 Pen)

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