Sunday, January 29, 2023

The race for league honours heats up

Will we see a closely ran title run?

It is six games into the 2022 / 23 Botswana Premier League (BPL) season and already signs of an interesting season are showing.

The country’s now established top four sides are threatening to make this a closely ran title race. Current defending champions Gaborone United are placed at the top of the league log, with Jwaneng Galaxy and Township Rollers holding tight to their tailcoats. All the three teams are yet to lose a game this season. GU and Galaxy are on 16 points each. Both have won five (5) games and drawn one (1). Rollers are two points behind the duo on 14 points, having won four (4) and drawn two (2). Orapa United completes the top four with 12 points after four (4) wins and two (2) losses.

The quad showed intent this past weekend as they all continued their winning ways. On Saturday, the trio of Galaxy, Rollers and Orapa registered wins to ensure GU stay within their eyes sights. Galaxy made it 2 – 1 past Police XI, Rollers beat Extension Gunners 3 – 1 while Orapa whipped Morupule Wanderers 4 – 1. The wins saw Galaxy and Rollers temporarily move to number one and two respectively on the league log.

They were however upstaged by GU on Sunday as the defending champions clapped the struggling Mogoditshane Fighters 5 – 0 to reclaim their spot at the top. It now remains to be seen if the duo of Orapa and Rollers can keep up with ‘the Reds’ of GU in the title race.

Eleven Angels finding their wings again?

After early struggles which saw them not win or score a game in the first two games of the season, the Eleven Angels are flying again. The youthful team or Lekgamu la Bananyana as the team is affectionately called, are now sitting snuggly on position seven (7) in the BPL league log.

On Saturday, the youthful brigade caused turmoil within the Sua Flamingoes camp when they upstaged the latter 3 – 2. This has left Flamingoes’ coach Rahman Gumbo in an untenable position. For Eleven Angels, this third win left them on nine (9) points and they now look like they do truly belong in the elite league.

Sua Flamingoes, Mogoditshane Fighters and Holy Ghost struggle

As is always mentioned, the league is a marathon and how one finishes is more important than how they start. However, six games in, panic buttons are already being pressed. After being beaten 2 – 3 by Angels, upheavals have arisen and Sua is said to be on the verge of parting ways with their coach. Despite being well resourced, the team which finished in the top 8 last season seems a shadow of its former self. So far this season, coach Rahman Gumbo and his ‘bafana ba letswai’ have managed only one win and five loses from the first six games.

With regards to Fighters, it seems their early off the field problems have really hit them hard. After their early losses, the team lost its coach Nelson Olebile who jumped ship to join the ambitious first division south side VTM FC. So far this season, Fighters have managed to collect only five points from a possible 18 and are in the relegation zone, positioned 14th in the BPL league log. Their last outing saw them clapped 0 – 5 by log leaders and defending champions GU.

For Holy Ghost, it is safe to say the fire is yet to light up. The league debutants are struggling and it shows. After six games, Holy Ghost remains the only team yet to get a win in the league. They have only mustered two draws and four losses and are now rooted at the bottom of the league log. Holy Ghost’s last game saw them lose 0 – 2 to Prisons XI on Friday. For now, more than ever, it seems Holy Ghosts will need a miracle to stay in the league. Or do they need just a little faith the size of a mustard grain?

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