Thursday, July 7, 2022

Rollers shed points, Chiefs swamp Tafic

Defending champions, Township Rollers, dropped valuable points when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Motlakase in a Be MOBILE Premier League match played at the Molepolole Sports Complex.

The draw means Rollers’ lead at the top of the table is cut to seven points after second placed Mochudi Centre Chiefs hammered Tafic 4-1 at the same venue on Saturday.

With four matches remaining before the curtain falls on this season’s Premier League, Rollers are still at the summit with 64 points while Chiefs are on 57. At some stage, Rollers looked set to coast easily away with the title, but the conviction is growing that after their performance at the weekend, the league is in for an entertaining final lap.

Despite the slim setback, those close to Rollers believe that the ball is still in their court. While most supporters were disappointed at the draw, Rollers’ coach Wesley Mondo is not a worried man. He sees the result as a wake-up call ahead of the remaining games. He feels that his charges underrated Motlakase who are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the log.

Rollers took the lead in the second half through Simisane Mathumo but Motlakase drew level through Owen Baruti towards the end of the game. “When things did not come our way, we started panicking and missed clear chances. Seven points is still a comfortable lead and there’s no point of having sleepless nights. All we need to do is to focus on the remaining games and I believe we have what it takes to go on to win the league,” said Mondo.

Rollers’ spokesperson Kaizer Sekaba concurred with Mondo that there is no need to panic as they will be crowned champions at the end of the season. Sekaba said that it is important for them to work even harder in the remaining league games.

“At this point in time, the competition is tough, that is why Motlakase pushed us all the way. But I have confidence that we’ll prevail at the end,” he said.

Sekaba pointed out that despite the setback, they are not worried about Chiefs who are right on their heels. Rollers will have a chance to recharge their batteries this weekend because of the Coca-Cola Cup semi-finals.

On April 23, they face Tafic in a game which is likely to test their championship pedigree.
The other opponents for Mapalastina are Black Peril, Extension Gunners and Nico United.

On paper, the fixtures may seem simple but the fact that it’s a final stretch, the fixtures may bring more pain to the holders.

Meanwhile, Chiefs spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi said that they believe that the season is not over yet despite some football commentators ‘declaring’ Rollers champions some weeks back.

Magosi started the campaign badly and only came into the picture as serious contenders at the beginning of the year. At the weekend, goals from Moemedi ‘Jomo’ Moatlhaping and second half strikes from Jabu Pilane, Joel Mogorosi and Tshepo Motlhabankwe were enough to send Chiefs’ supporters celebrating. It was not an impressive performance from Chiefs but it was enough to get them maximum points and keep their dreams of dislodging Rollers at the top.

“We’re going to continue fighting until the end. The final game is the one which would determine our fate. We still believe it is up for the taking,” said Mogomotsi.

Chiefs’ focus turns to the Coca-Cola Cup before they finish the league with tricky fixtures against Nico United, Extension Gunners, Black Peril and Uniao Flamengo Santos.

At the bottom, the battle has also intensified as other relegation candidates registered vital wins. TASC narrowly beat visiting Police XI 1-0 in Francistown while Miscellaneous also caused a major upset, beating Extension Gunners 1-0 in Selebi-Phikwe.

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