Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The going gets tougher for Police XI

Police Xi is the team on a downward spiral this season and might find itself in a relegation quagmire if they don’t uplift their game.

The last time they were promoted from the First Division was in 1995 and, since then, they never looked back and went on to win major tournaments, like the league championship five seasons ago.

Things have seriously changed at the team and just last month they fired their coach, Clever Hunda, and replaced him with the former coach, Sthandwa Mogwadi, but there seems to be little improvement.

The police side is even in an uncomfortable fourth position from the bottom before weekend matches.
The situation was not helped by the fact that they were humiliated by high riders, Township Rollers, by six goals to one on Friday night at Molepolole sports complex.

Coach Mogwadi was at pains to explain away one of their heaviest losses of the season.
He told Sunday Standard after the match that inexperience is the main problem at the team as he is trying to re-build.

“We have many youngsters in the team and some of them are still finding it difficult to cope playing against teams like Rollers. But the result was a lesson for us and we will go back and rectify our mistakes. After that, definitely, we will bounce back,” he said.

Since losing the services of veteran midfielder, Therisanyo ‘Tshutshu’ Haake, defenders, Themba Ketshabile and towering Tebogo Tshuma, Police XI have never been the same.

Haake was an anchor man in the midfield and did all the work and damage. Ketshabile’s high work rate and his no nonsense tackles are also missed as strikers always find it easy to penetrate Police XI defence.

Tshuma, on the other hand, was a pillar at the centre back and it was not easy for the team to concede aerial goals in his presence.

What surprised many at Police XI was the fact that national team defender, Ndiapo Letsholathebe, did not make it against Rollers.

Mogwadi, on the other hand, pointed out he could not include Letsholathebe in the team because he did not train for most of the week because they were attending the anti-doping awareness campaign.
Most of the goals Police XI conceded were easy ones and they could have done better in preventing them.

The main culprit was the inexperienced goalkeeper, Edwin Mokibe. Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele scored a brace for Rollers while, Thato Bolwelweng, Phenyo Molefhe, Mohammed Chawila, Abedinico Powell scored a goal apiece.

Police XI’s consolation goal was scored by Zimbabwean international, Farasai Nyamunamendo.

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The Telegraph November 25

Digital edition of The Telegraph, November 25, 2020.