Log leaders Township Rollers’ supporters had every reason to celebrate upon hearing that their closest rivals, Mochudi Centre Chiefs, had been held to a goalless draw by BMC in the Be MOBILE Premier League game at the Molepolole Sports Stadium on Saturday night.
It was a welcome result for Rollers who had earlier in the day hammered ECCO City Greens 5-0 in Francistown.
Chiefs’ draw means that Mapalastina only need 10 points from their remaining six games to wrap up this season’s league race and retain the title which had eluded them for five years before they won it last year.
Rollers lead the pack with 60 points from 24 games, nine points ahead of second-placed Magosi who, until this weekend, were seen as the main threat.
Rollers’ chances of retaining the title were questioned last month when they were beaten by Chiefs in an thrilling game at the UB Stadium; the loss even made it harder to swallow as Rollers were tormented by their former skipper, Joel ‘16′ Mogorosi, who just crossed the floor to the Kgatleng giants.
Fingers were pointed at the management for letting their star performer go but, to their credit, Rollers’ technical team did not lose focus.
They ensured that they bounced back in a manner which, once again, sent a stern warning to Chiefs who had ambitions of dethroning Mapalastina.
Impressive wins over BDF XI and ECCO meant that Rollers still held to their seven point lead until this weekend when Magosi faltered. Rollers have rattled the net 65 times, three more than Chiefs but the Kgatleng giants hold a better defensive record.
“Chiefs’ result has helped us a lot because we can now start preparing for big celebrations. If there is still someone out there who believes that we can lose the title, then he/she has to think again. The trophy is as good as ours and whoever wants to take it has to plan for next season. It has been a tough season but if Chiefs were to win the league, it means we have to lose our next four games which is impossible,” said Rollers’ mouthpiece, Kaizer Sekaba, on Monday.
Chiefs’ communications manager, Clifford Mogomotsi, admitted that their weekend’s result messed up their campaign but he still remains confident that they can push the log leaders all the way. Mogomotsi said that it was unacceptable for his side to drop the points.
“We’re not out until the fat lady sings. Remember this is a race and you’re declared a winner when you cross the finishing line. Rollers may need 10 points to clinch the title but they’re not there yet,” he added. Mogomotsi pointed out that his team needs to continue fighting in the remaining games and forget about Rollers’ results because there is still the Coca-Cola Cup to fight for.
In other weekend’s results, Motlakase kept their dreams of surviving the relegation axe when they narrowly beat BDF XI 2-1 in Mogoditshane.
The win leaves Motlakase still rooted in the 13th spot with 19 points but the win will surely boost their morale for the remainder of the season.
Gaborone United redeemed their lost pride when they hammered visiting Nico United 5-0 in Molepolole.
TASC, who are languishing in the relegation zone, beat fellow strugglers Black Peril 3-1 in Francistown on Sunday, while Uniao Flamengo Santos continued with their good run, beating Police XI 3-1 in Molepolole on the same day.