Mochudi Centre Chiefs became the last side to reach the Coca-Cola Cup semi-finals when they narrowly beat BDF XI 1-0 in a hot-tempered match played at the Molepolole Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon.
The previous day, Motlakase, Extension Gunners and Uniao Flamengo Santos had to go through the pain of post-match penalties to reach the semi-finals of the prestigious competition.
It was not an afternoon of plain sailing for Chiefs who opened the scoring through midfielder Oteng Moalosi early in the game. They had to sweat for almost 70 minutes to defend their goal, which sealed their place in the semis.
Things got worse for BDF XI midway through the second stanza when defender Moreetsi ‘Resco’ Mosimanyana got his second bookable offence and had to go for an early shower. That did not go down well with BDF XI bench. There was confusion as to whether it was Mosimanyana’s first booking but the referee had earlier booked the defender for a silly foul on Moalosi. Tempers went high during the game and towards the final whistle, BDF XI coach Sikalame Keatlholetswe called his players for an indaba and was overheard telling them not to continue the game.
Keatlholetswe was unhappy with some of the decisions that were taken by referee Kutlwano Leso throughout the afternoon.
Chiefs’ players had to wait for a few minutes for Matebele players to get back to action.
After the game, an upset Keatlholetswe left the field without giving interviews to print media journalists who were waiting for him.┬áBDF XI assistant coach Nelson Setshwane bayed for referee Kutlwano Leso’s blood and had to be restrained by security officials and BDF XI midfielder Patrick Motsepe.┬á
“This boy (Leso) is full of nonsense and what pisses me off is that he laughs after costing us a game,” Setshwane said as he was pulled away from the referee by Motsepe. ┬á
It was not the first time referee Leso had to be rescued by the security at the end of a football game.
BDF XI spokesperson Philemon Mompati did not spare the referee, accusing him of not officiating to satisfaction games involving Matebele.
According to Mompati, the referee always puts them on the firing line, especially when his side plays either Chiefs or Township Rollers.
Recently when BDF XI lost 2-1 in a league game against Rollers, it was Leso who was in the middle, and Matebele cried foul at the end.
“We’ve written to the Botswana Football Association complaining about this man (Leso) but we’ve never heard from them.┬á Against Chiefs he denied us two legitimate penalties and did not protect my goalkeeper (Michael Pepukani),” said Mompati.
The BDF XI custodian had to be attended to by the team medic for the better part of the second half as he could not deal with Chiefs’ physical players, especially from corners. ┬á
Mompati said that they had planned well for the Chiefs’ game and their party was spoiled by an incompetent referee.
“When Chiefs beat us recently in league game (lost 4-0), we did not complain because they hammered us fairly. But today it seems the referee came here with a mission to accomplish and he did. This is bad for our football,” said one disappointed BDF XI supporter.
Meanwhile, defending champions and favourites Township Rollers bowed out of the competition after they were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Santos. Both sides were tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes. In Otse, despite a poor pitch, Gunners managed to scrap through to the next round with a 6-5 penalty win.
The sides were deadlocked 2-2 at fulltime and eventually penalties had to decide the winner.
At the SSKB Stadium in Mogoditshane, Motlakase also needed penalty shootouts to see off BMC.