Monday, September 25, 2023

Rollers and Chiefs in a bone crushing encounter

Township Rollers might not be habouring any hope of winning this year’s league championship because pace setters, Mochudi Centre Chiefs, are well off ahead of them. The best position the team can find themselves in is second spot. Achievement beyond that would mean Chiefs must lose most of their games in the second round, something that looks unlikely.

The first round has also seen Rollers losing games they could have easily won and the second round is a time for the team to restore its pride. After playing against BDF XI today (Sunday) Rollers will engage the current log leaders Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Tuesday. Chiefs, however, would be looking forward to increasing their league’s tally so that they secure their championship well on time.

Rollers, on the other hand, would not want Chiefs to make a succulent stew out of them bearing in mind that the former has not won in the past three league games they played against Chiefs. Chiefs won the two games 3-2 and 3-0 and played to a two all draw in the third one.
In the past, Rollers always emerged the victors over the Kgatleng-based side. Rollers could have easily won almost all matches they lost this season, because they were playing better than their opposition. Their main undoing, however, was the squandering of chances in front of the goal. The victory against Unia Flamengo Santos last week is seen by many as an opener for many victories to come. This is so because Santos has the tightest defence in the Premier League and they are a side that has a realistic chance of toppling Chiefs.

Rollers put Santos defence, led by the three musketeers, Seabo Gabanakgosi, Pius Kolagano and Khumo Motlhabane, under pressure even though they missed the services of their no nonsense right back, Gabriel Bokhutlo. They managed to soak pressure from the Santos dangermen such as Ringo Rankgomo and Vincent Phiri.

On the other hand Chiefs have the best squad in the Premier League and testimony to that is their first round unbeaten run; they are still yet to lose a game. Definitely, they would be their own enemies if they do not clinch the title this season.

Last year, they nearly did it but the thorn in the flesh was the Francistown-based side, Ecco City Green. Ecco City was the eventual winners while Chiefs settled for second position. The other consolation for Chiefs was the golden boot award that went to Pontsho Moloi.

This season, Chiefs are not only the log leaders but three of their strikers, stand a chance to win the golden boot award. Moloi, Mpho Mabogo and Jerome ‘Jay Jay’ Ramatlhakwane are in scintillating form and they score in almost every game they play.

Chiefs also have a pool of other strikers to choose from should others get injured or suspended. They have Nicolas Gora, Stanly Tsolope, who has since started to rediscover his form. They have also been boasted by the acquisition of former Rollers player, Sekhana ‘Chicken’ Koko.

Koko was in the centre of controversy between the two teams and the case had to go for arbitration. From the goalkeeping department to the midfield, the team is just well stocked with talented players. The minor set back is that their reliable goalkeeper, Noah Maposa, has been suspended for two games after receiving his marching orders against Ecco City last weekend. His elder brother, Joseph, is now the man holding the fort. Since he has not been playing for some time, he might not be match fit.

The Chiefs midfield, on the other hand, is well oiled and controlled by none other than Oteng ‘Limkokwing’ Moalosi. His defence splitting passes are the reason the team scores in almost every game.

Meanwhile, Rollers’ enterprising players, such as Edwin Moalosi, should not be underestimated. The departure of Koko might be a blessing in disguise for him as he has already proved in Santos game. He played well and even scored the first goal.

The game is at the National Stadium at 7pm.


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