Sunday, May 16, 2021

Title delight- Make or break for Chiefs and United

On a normal day, a clash between giants Mochudi Centre Chiefs and minnows Orapa United would not attract a huge interest from local football fans but this afternoon it will be a different ball game altogether. Both sides meet at a crucial time when they are eying the big carrot – which is the beMOBILE Premier League title – hence thousands of fans are expected to swarm the Molepolole Sports Stadium to the rafters to witness this titanic battle. Those who will not be able to travel to the sleepy Kweneng district capital will surely be glued to their television sets or radio in order to follow the proceedings to the end.

The football commentators have labelled the crunch match as a six pointer for both sides. Chiefs are at the summit of the log with 57 points while United are second with 51 points with five matches to go. A win for United will make the final matches of the League more interesting, while maximum points for Chiefs would bring them closer to their fourth title in as many years.

The rise of the less fashionable Orapa United has shocked a lot of people with their fluid play this season considering that they struggled in the campaign. The diamond-mining town side avoided relegation by whisker during the 2013/14 Premier League when they made their first appearance amongst the big boys.

On the other hand, following a slow start to the season, Chiefs have picked up the pieces in the last five months to push for the title. And their fans have responded in a positive way filling the stadiums in numbers whenever their heroes are in action.

Interestingly, the last time Chiefs lost a League match was on November 23 last year when they were beaten 2-1 by Orapa United at Itekeng Stadium. It is for this reason that Chiefs publicity officer Clifford Mogomotsi has sent stern warning to their rivals not to expect ‘handouts’ today. “We’re out for revenge this weekend because this is the team which last beat us. We need to send a clear message out there and move towards the finishing line. We’ve the players with the pedigree to get us maximum points in games of this magnitude,” said Magosi’s mouthpiece.

The charismatic spokesperson added that hosting the Ostriches will be an added advantage to his side. “It is not easy to go to Orapa and come back with maximum points. So we’re happy that we are playing in our own backyard because we’re treating this game like a cup final. It is not the first time we find ourselves in this situation and I’ve no doubt we’ll prevail,” he continued.┬áHordes of Chiefs supporters will be keeping their fingers crossed that their leading marksman Kekaetswe Moloi will continue with the rich vein of form he has shown in recent matches. It is Moloi who saved Magosi from the jaws of defeat against BMC on Good Friday to secure a 1-1 defeat. The League’s leading scorer Lemponye Tshireletso has not been convincing in the past five matches but is another player who can win a game for his side on his good day.

Orapa United spokesperson Tebatso Hule said they are not going to let their side lose focus because they are playing Chiefs. He pointed out that their preparations have been normal and they are coming down south on a mission. “Chiefs are not invisible and we’ve proven that in the first round when we beat them here (in Orapa). Yes, they are on top of the log and they deserve the respect but we’re coming there to spoil the party,” Hule boasted.

He added that the management has been working hard at motivating the players ahead of the clash and he has no doubt that it will bear the fruits. As they take a long trip to face Magosi, United will pin their hopes on their free-scoring duo of Patrick Lenyeletse and Hendrick Moyo. The pair has netted 24 goals in between them something which could prove problematic to the sloppy Chiefs’ rearguard. If there is one man who will be out to prove a thing or two to Chiefs, it will be Lenyeletse. The Ostriches have not lost a game since November 29 last year when they were hammered 6-1 by national champions Township Rollers. ┬áKick off is scheduled for 3.30pm.

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