Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Santos gives Coca-Cola tournament a historic look

For the first time in its history, the Coca-Cola tournament has consecutively fallen into the hands of three different clubs.

Uniao Flamengo Santos won the tournament for the first time in their history this season and so did Mochudi Centre Chiefs and BMC, who did it in the previous two seasons, respectively.
Santos also became the tenth team to win the tournament in its twenty year history.

Before Santos lifted the tournament last week Saturday, there was only a record of two different teams.

Santos started upping the gear on the tournament last season when they reached the finals and, unfortunately, Centre Chiefs trashed them into smithereens by scoring five goals against Santos’ two. That proved to be a valuable lesson for Santos who went all the way to snatch the tournament.
The road for Santos to the finals was not an easy one and odds were against them.

Firstly, they parted ways with their coach, Gishion Ntini, when the tournament was about to reach the climax stages and in came Clever Hunda.
When Hunda was working on different modalities to find a winning combination, some senior players were suspended by the management for misconduct and Hunda had to work with mostly youngsters.

Some of the experienced players who were suspended by Santos were Vincent Phiri and Pius Kolagano. This forced the team to use a thin squad to try to help them finish in a respectable league position.

En-route to the finals, Santos had to overcome their hoodoos, Centre Chiefs, the team that were the defending champions after beating them the previous season.

Centre Chiefs had also lost their Premier League defence and their only consolation was the Coca Cola Cup. It was not to be as Santos ran amok and beat Centre Chiefs 3-2. People thought it would be one way traffic in favour of Centre Chiefs but Santos stood firm.
The finals were also another high mountain to climb. Santos had to face BDF XI, the team that has more experienced players in the Premier League. Most of the players also have international exposure and on paper, BDF XI was firm favourites.

But Santos once again gave the army side no respect as they fought for a one all draw and wrapped it up through penalty shootouts which they won 4-2.
The game also was a mission well accomplished by coach Hunda. Since coming into Botswana more than 15 years ago, the Coca-Cola Cup was his major tournament in his medal cabinet. Santos is also the team he had a short stint with last season before being shown the door.

He has been to many teams with less success.

Previous Coca Cola winners

1992: Gunners
(Gunners 3, Tafic 2)

1993: Township Rollers
(Township Rollers 4, GU 1)

1994: Township Rollers
Township Rollers, 2 Gunners 0

1995: Notwane
(Notwane 3, BDF XI 1)

1996: Township Rollers
(Township Rollers 2, BMC 0)

1997: Notwane
(Notwane 2, Mokgosi 0)

1998: BDF XI
(BDF XI 1, Jwaneng
Comets 0)

1999: Mogoditshane Fighters
(Mogoditshane Fighters 3,
FC Satmos 0)

2000: Mogoditshane Fighters

2001: Tasc
Tasc 2, Gunners 0

2002: Tafic
(Tafic beat Tasc on penalties)

2003: Mogoditshane Fighters
Mogoditshane Fighters 1, Township Rollers 0)

2004: BDF XI
(BDF 2, Fighters 0)

2005: Township Rollers
(Township Rollers 3,

2006: Notwane
(Notwane 2, BDF XI 1)

2007: BMC
(BMC 5 ECCO City 4,
after penalties)

2008: Mochudi Centre Chiefs
(Mochudi Centre Chiefs 5, Uniao Flamengo Santos 2

2009 Uniao Flamengo Santos
(Santos 4 BDF XI 2 Pen)


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