Sunday, September 27, 2020

Rollers eye fifth Coca Cola silverware

Rollers have proven themselves to be history makers.
So far they have already won the league for a record 10 times and now want to do the same with the Coca-Cola tournament.

They have won it for a record four times and want to extend it to five this time around. They have won it in 1993, 94, 96 and 2005.

As things stand, it looks as if the finals will not be easy it would not be easy. It can be compared to the 1993 finals, which were very electrifying.
Before the 1993 finals, archrivals Gaborone United (GU) always gave Township Rollers a tough time and won every match.

On the finals day, Rollers were a different team as they trashed GU 4-1. Rollers are in it again this year against Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
There will be more than what meets the eye for the finals of the tournament on Saturday when the two teams slug it out.

Chiefs will fight with all they have because the tournament is their only hope this season.
Rollers are already Premier league champions and it looks as if they are still hungry for another medal.

Rollers are currently the league champions and want to win their second major tournament against current hoodoo team, Chiefs. They will want deadly revenge because they have never defeated Centre Chiefs this season.

Both teams played to a two all draw in the first round and Chiefs emerged 3-2 victors in the second round.

It was painful because at some stage Rollers led Chiefs 2-0 only to throw away the game towards the end.

Rollers would also want to extend their historic Coca-Cola record further so that it takes other teams ages to equal them.

Currently they have won it four times and the only team that came closest to them is Mogoditshane Fighters who have won it three times but have long been knocked out of the tournament.
Chiefs, however, would also want to win the tournament for the second time in their history.
They first won it in 2008 after walloping Uniao Flamengo Santos 5-2.

The Chiefs coach, Wesly Mondo, is the one who is under pressure because he is yet to win something in the country and for that matter his job might be at stake.

Mondo was cautious when talking to Sunday Standard and would not tell us that whether he thought they were going to win or not. He said Rollers are a very strong team and they will treat them carefully.

“I cannot say we are going to win the match, but we are going to seriously prepare for the encounter, which is definitely going to be tough,” he said. His Rollers counterpart, Rahman Gumbo, also acknowledged the importance of the game and said they would be taking it seriously.
“Tournaments matches are different from league ones but we will be prepared for Chiefs and hopefully this time around something positive will come out of the match,” he said.
By the look of things, the game will be won in the midfield. Whoever is going to be better there will definitely walk away P350 000 richer.

Both teams have midfield destroyers and playmakers.
Rollers have the likes of Amos Godirwang and Lawrence Majawa, while Chiefs have Elijah Montsho.
Depending on the system the coach uses, Michael Mohaladi and Tshepo Motlhabankwe can do it.
When it comes to play making, it will be Dirang Moloi and Edwin Moalosi. Both also have those players who can stretch the defence with their dazzling runs.

Rollers’ Joel Mogorosi and Chiefs’ Othusitse Pilane will be trying their level best there. In the previous matches, Rollers players looked fit and that is one element that can work for them very well.

Chiefs’ player who has been giving Rollers a torrid time is Oteng Moalosi who has been missing in Chiefs colours for some time.

Both teams have solid defences and mobile midfield. Even their striking forces are lethal once left unchecked. If the scoring rate of the league is anything to go by, then Rollers are champions. Chiefs are suspect in the goalkeeping department because Mompoloki Sephekolo seems to be struggling with long range shots. At times, even grass cutters leave him sprawling on the turf.
Rollers are blessed in the goalkeeping department because Kabelo Dambe is learning in almost every match, be it one on one situations, crosses, long ranges, he is good.
Even his reflexes and agility are exceptional.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.