Gaborone United (GU) coach Elvis Chiweshe punched the air in jubilation when referee Uyapo Julius blew the final whistle during their thrilling Be MOBILE Premier League clash against BDF XI at the SSKB Stadium in Mogoditshane on Saturday afternoon.
After being thrashed 2-0 by rivals Township Rollers the previous weekend, all eyes were on Chiweshe and his team at the army barracks. But the Reds responded well to register a 3-2 win over the rejuvenated army side.
The win has taken the Gaborone giants to third spot with 13 points from six games and given their supporters something to cheer about.
The Zimbabwean-born coach started with three strikers Ronald Chikomo, Dillion Chivandire and Baloni Chiseko, which showed that he was prepared for war.
His decision to field the three strikers worked to his advantage; they were all on the score sheet.
Chikomo headed home in the sixth minute after a beautiful cross from the right.
Chivandire benefited from poor marking from Matebele to slot home in the ninth minute.┬á With the score reading 2-1 after Lemponye Tshireletso had reduced the deficit, the Reds stretched their lead through Chiseko in the 41st minute with probably the easiest goal of his career.
Chiseko could sigh a bit of relief as he has been heavily criticised in some quarters since arriving at the club during pre-season. Towards the end of the game, the GU gaffer had to be on his toes as their opponents threw everything at them in search of an equaliser but his players managed to stand firm.
In the end, the Reds collected the decisive three points which will serve as a motivator ahead of their crunch clash with BMC in Lobatse on Sunday. Chiweshe, who was clearly excited, hugged almost every player before waving at their fans who were in red and white colours.
“It was a tough game for us because we were playing a very good side. I’m happy that my players responded well after our loss against Rollers. As you could see, I started with almost all my experienced players and it worked,” Chiweshe said.
Chiweshe, who arrived during pre-season, said that he is still learning Botswana football and they will take each game as it comes. He could not be drawn into telling whether his side can go all the way to win the championship which they last won in 2009.
Against BMC, Chiweshe welcomes back his two influential midfielders Alphonse Modisaotsile and Mandla Mgadla who were dismissed during their 2-1 win over TAFIC in Mogoditshane.
On the other hand, BDF XI Nelson Setshwane took a swipe at his defenders for what he termed stupid mistakes they committed which led to the three goals on the day.
The defence of Moreetsi Mosimanyana, captain Naughty Khutsafalo and Tshepo Baipoledi were for the most part of the first half caught at sixes and sevens by the Reds attack.
“We were disappointing in the first half but managed to recover in the second half and put pressure on our opponents,” said Setshwane.
He once again admitted that he faces an uphill battle of working on his defence which has been very porous.
In six games, Matebele have conceded 14 goals, an average of two goals per game. It was Matebele’s second defeat of the season after they were beaten by ECCO City Greens in the third week of the Premier League season. Meanwhile, Mochudi Centre Chiefs regained their position at the summit after they hammered Extension Gunners 3-0 at the Molepolole Sports Stadium on Saturday night.
Joel Mogorosi scored a brace with the other goal coming from Elijah Montsho.
Magosi are now sitting on 15 points from six games, two points ahead of second-placed Nico United.
During the Independence celebrations, Magosi host struggling FC Satmos in Molepolole on Saturday and chances are that they will remain at the top.
The rest of the results are as follows:
Mogoditshane Fighters 2 (Mpho Mabogo, Oteng Mongala) Police XI 2 (Richard Mwanza, Betsho Pius).
Great North Tigers 1 (Tamucha Bedi) Township Rollers 1 (Onalethata Tshekiso).
ECCO City Greens 3 (Patrick Lenyeletse, Gosaitseng Manuel, Gabaratane Kgosietsile) Uniao Flamengo Santos 0.
Nico United 1 (Master Masitara) Notwane 0.
FC Satmos 0 BMC 1 (Godfrey Ngele).
Miscellaneous 1 (Samuel Phiri) TAFIC 2 (Godfrey Lemphorwana, Tlhagiso Mamono