Monday, July 15, 2024

Rollers win Gaborone derby and cruise to championships defense

Township Rollers seem destined to defend their be-MOBILE Premier League championship, something that is always difficult for local teams.

Rollers defeated their longtime arch rivals, Gaborone United (GU) by a solitary goal on Saturday night to be eight points clear at the top.

Teams in Botswana always find it difficult to defend their league title and Rollers are definitely on course for their eleventh title and teams are struggling to contain them.

The win by Rollers showed their domination over GU for the past six years. Since bouncing back from a five year hiatus in the First Division, GU have always struggled to beat Rollers and their best results is always a draw.

GU was hoping to improve their league standing against a team that missed their three seasoned players due to suspensions and contractual disputes. Industrious midfielder, Abednico Powell, and top striker, Mweuku Musonda, were serving suspensions after receiving two consecutive bookings while lethal winger, Joel Mogorosi, is still at the centre of controversy between Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and even South African Premier League side, Orlando Pirates.

The loss by GU was its second successive one and unless they start picking up points in their next match, they might find themselves pushed into an uncomfortable position.

GU came into the match with the sole aim of picking a point and a victory would have been a bonus. They succeeded in that regard in the first half as they managed to cut down Rollers wings, which is their strongest point. In the second half, things were different as Rollers heavily pressed forward looking for a goal.

They were rewarded about 14 minutes from time when ever-green, Sekhana Koko cut through their left back and unleashed a tight angle thunderbolt. The shot was too heavy for GU goalie, Emmanuel Thakadu, as he struggled to parry it before it eventually trickled back into goal.

The victory was much celebrated by Rollers diehard supporters because near rivals, Ecco City Green, had earlier on lost on the day.

After the match, Rollers coach, Wesly Mondo, praised his players for the gallant effort while at the same time cautious of having already won the league. He said there is still a long way to go before they could say they are champions. He added that the team should take each match as it comes and should not be bothered by how others play.

GU caretaker coach, Letang Kgengwenyane, decried chances that his team missed but also praised the spirited performance shown by the team.


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