Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Rollers and Chiefs neck and neck in race to become League champions

A two horse race for the 2014/15 beMobile Premier League title has heated up with Mochudi Centre Chiefs beating title rivals Township Rollers by a solitary goal. The goal, which came in the 35th minute through Lemponye Tshireletso, ensured ‘Magosi’ pulled level on points with Rollers at the league log summit with 40 points apiece. The loss was the second for Rollers this season, with both losses coming from the team’s past three games. After a stellar first round of the league which saw ‘Popa’ not losing a single game, chinks in the Rollers’ armour started to show off when they lost their first game of the second round to Police XI.

While the cracks were papered by the resounding victory over Extension Gunners, the cracks were reopened as Rollers succumbed to another defeat at the hands of Chiefs. In a game that was played at a frenetic pace, it was Magosi who started the brightest, stringing multiple passes past their hosts. Despite the bright start by Chiefs, they should have been a goal down within the first fifteen minutes but they somehow survived the scare as Wilbroad Mutale cleared one effort off the goal line before goalkeeper Mompoloki Sephekolo reacted fast to deny Segolame Boy when the talismanic player was one on one with him.

Rollers felt they should have had a penalty midway through the first half when former Chiefs’ forward, Jerome Ramatlhakwana, went down in the box under a challenge from Sephekolo, only for the referee to book the striker for simulation. Rollers were then made to rue their incompetence in front of goal in the 35th minute when Tshireletso blasted past Mwampule Masule after some good work from striker Onalethata Tshekiso and his captain Pontsho Moloi. After muscling Simisane Mathumo off the ball, Tshekiso made a telling pass to Moloi, who teed up Tshireletso to score the game’s only goal. Rollers’ should have drawn level when winger Sekhana Koko made a good pass to Motsholetsi Sikele but the midfielder shot wide. The end to end affair between the two sides continued in the second half with Chiefs trying to extend their lead and Rollers’ trying to find an elusive equaliser.

Magosi thought they had extended their lead early in the second half when Moloi put one past Masule and wheeled away towards Chiefs’ supporters in celebration, only for his joy to be cut short as he was adjudged to have been offside. It was then Rollers who threatened as Tshepo Motlhabankwe nicked a header towards goal but Sephekolo was alert to deny him his first goal in Rollers’ colours. Rollers’ wastefulness in front of the goal was even more apparent towards the end of the game as their captain Koko lost a chance to pull level when set on goal. The winger’s rustiness was apparent as he failed to control a through ball into the box with only the goalkeeper to beat. Despite Rollers trying hard to carve out a winner, it was not to be as Magosi held on to win the match and draw level on points with ‘Popa’ at the top of the league log and stop their rivals from running away with the title.

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