Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Rollers tightens its grip on the league

Township Rollers kept their stranglehold on the be-Mobile Premier league log leadership via a 2 ÔÇô 1 victory over BMC on Sunday.

The road was, however, not so smooth for Rollers who, despite creating as many chances, had to rely on a controversial 86th minute penalty decision to clinch the game.

‘Popa’ or ‘Maplastina’, as Rollers is affectionately called, started the first half the livelier of the two teams and made their intentions to win as early as the first minute but were let down by poor finishing.

Popa should have taken the lead as early as the 6th minute when tricky winger, Sekhana Koko, hit a low ball across BMC’s box, which Onalethata Tshekiso failed to connect with.

This was to be the norm throughout the first half as Rollers created chance after chance only for their forwards, consisting of Joel Mogorosi, Koko, Tshekiso and Mweuku Musona, to waste them.

BMC’s first chance only came in the 7th minute but they also could not make it count as Ramoshibidu shot wide.

From then on, it was Rollers who pressed forward and nearly broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when a perfect cross from Tshekiso was chested by Musona inside the box, with the latter laying it off for Koko who then shot timidly into the hands of Takudzwa Ndoro in the BMC goal posts.

BMC were, however, not entirely dominated and their star players Kenanao Kgetholetsile and Motsholetsi Sikele gave Rollers a hard time.

However, with the recess fast approaching, Rollers attacked relentlessly but could not score the elusive tie breaker. Mogorosi wasted a chance after Koko’s good work in the 37th minute before missing yet another chance when he headed into Ndoro’s hands from Simesani Mathumo’s cross.

Rollers nearly went into recess a goal ahead but Tshekiso ballooned his shot over the bar after rounding the BMC defense, leaving the two teams to go into recess goalless. In the second half, Popa started where they left and were rewarded in the 52nd minute when Musona headed home a Mogorosi cross after a good interplay between the latter and Koko.

Koko should have increased the tally three minutes later but hit his shot over the goalposts with only the goalkeeper to beat. This seemed to wake BMC from its slumber as it started raiding the Rollers rear in search for an equalizer.

BMC then made a double substitution, bringing in Lovemore Morirwa and Peter Ngwenya for Sikele and the ineffective Owen Mwendabai. The change seemed to work because BMC launched attack after attack only to be denied by the alert Rollers defense.

Rollers also did their own substitution, bringing in Abednico Powell and Thando Moreki for Amos Godirwang and Tshekiso while BMC made their last throw of the dice and brought in Ofana Motsumi for Keeagile Kobe. Motsumi’s entry into the playing field worked like a charm as it further sharpened BMC’s attack. BMC’s incessant attacks finally paid off when Rollers defender Oscar Ncenga scored an own goal after his goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe had made a double save.

When it seemed like both teams would share spoils, the referee gave Rollers a lifeline and gave them a penalty after adjudging BMC goalkeeper to have fouled Musona inside the box and Mogorosi stepped forward to convert and give Rollers the crucial three points.

In the other games, Mochudi Centre Chiefs hammered Motlakase 3 ÔÇô 0 to reclaim its fourth position on the log. The Kgatleng outfit is now on level points with Extension Gunners but have a better goal difference.

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