Township Rollers’ were left ruing their lack of cutting edge in front of goal after succumbing to a goalless draw by Motlakase Power Dynamos on May Day at the Molepolole Sports Complex. In a game that was played at a pedestrian pace, it was Rollers who created the most chances, though they failed to net. Rollers made their intentions very clear from the onset as Gofaone Tiro, who was making a rare start for Rollers this season, flashed a fierce shot across the goal mouth within the first minute of the game.
Motlakase nearly opened the scoring on the fourth minute when William Kupera laid off an inviting ball for Umar Ngobi, only for the striker to miss what was his team’s best chance. Motlakase were nearly punished for the missed chance four minutes later when Jerome Louis netted a header from Kobamelo Kebaikanye’s well whipped ball into the box, but the striker was adjudged to have been offside. Confusion between Louis and Lesego Molemogi would then cost Rollers another chance in the 14th minute as they got into each other’s way after Motlakase keeper Daniel Kedidimetse parried a stinging shot from Tiro back in the box.
Though they had an upper hand and hogged most of the possession, Rollers lacked creativity and ruthlessness in the final third to get past a resolute Motlakase defence marshaled by former striker turned defender Jomo Bolofete and eventual man of the match Thato Kebue. Motlakase got another chance just two minutes from time when Gape Mohutsiwa glided past the Rollers defence, only for Ngobi to shoot tamely into the hands of Noah Mamosa, much to the frustration of his teammates.
On the other hand, Rollers should have scored in referee’s added time when they carved open Motlakase defence and left the goalie in no man’s land, only for Tiro to shoot straight at the defense before both teams went to recess goalless. Aside from Rollers 1st minute attack, the second half started at a lackluster pace as Motlakase got more grip on the game.
With seventeen minutes in the second half gone and no headway made in the game, Rollers’ stand-in coach Mogomotsi Mpote wrung in changes as he hauled off the jaded Tiro and the misfiring Sekhana Koko and replaced them with Motsholetsi Sikele and Edwin Moalosi respectively. Mpote rolled his last dice ten minutes later, bringing in Jerome Ramatlhakwane for Louis, but his substitutions did not work bear fruit.
It was rather Motlakase who threatened to open the scoring in the 36th minute when Kupera evaded the Rollers defence, only to see his effort blaze past Maposa’s upright. Motlakase then had a goal in the net two minutes later through substitute Lapologang Motlogi, but their joy was cut short as the referee ruled the goal offside, ending the game with a draw. The draw left Rollers still stuck in third position behind rookies Orapa United, while Motlakase’s point left them just above Satmos in the relegation battle with just two matches to be played. This is how the two teams lined up:
Rollers; Maposa, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Simisani Mathumo, Obuile Ncenga, Thato Bolweleng, Lesego Molemogi, Maano Ditshupo, Tiro, Kebaikanye, Koko, Louis.
Motlakase; Daniel Kedidimetse, Kebatshabile Monthe, Joseph Nkgoeng, Bolofete, Kebue, Mohutsiwa, Victor Gomile, Lerato Botshelo, Ngobi, Kupera, Pelaelo Hlabano.