Monday, July 22, 2024

Who is going to stop Mochudi Centre Chiefs?

Mochudi Centre Chiefs are definitely on course to claim their first ever Premiership title. The team is already about halfway through the second round and is yet to lose a game. They continued their sharp run when they defeated Gaborone United (GU) 2-1 at the National Stadium on Friday. Many people thought Moyagoleele, as GU are affectionately called, would be the first team to defeat Centre Chiefs because they have since hit good form. But it was not to be as Magosi run riot and registered a hard earned victory. What was even sweet about the Chiefs victory is the fact they were one man down but they were not deterred. Their reliable goalkeeper, Noah Maposa, went for an early shower with about 25 minutes remaining before full time. And at the time Maposa was sent off, both teams were still tied at one goal apiece but Chiefs ended wrapping it up.

Chiefs forward, Jerome ‘Jay Jay’ Ramatlhakwane, once again showed that he has what it takes to be a world class player. He scored both goals for Chiefs to take his tally to thirteen. Ramatlhakwane scored the first goal for Chiefs twenty three minutes into the first half after taking advantage of confusion in GU defence. He dispossessed GU winger, Molatedi Mabina, and laid the ball inside the box and made a diagonal run to the right wing where a perfect pass was laid to him. He slotted easily beating Kgosietsile Senjoba.

GU tried to launch attacks, especially using their wings but it was not to be as Chiefs defence, led by Tshepho Mothabankwe, stood firm. Motlhabankwe, together with the Zambian duo of James Kachinga and Gavin Mpundu, correlated well.

On the other hand, GU equalized through Tshepho ‘School Boy’ Molefhe’s free kick midway through the second half. Molefhe curved a perfect kick that beat Maposa hands down. After the goal, GU was firing from all cylinders, especially the youthful and rising star, Mirror Ntesang. Ntesang was a thorn in Chiefs midfield, especially with his pinpoint crosses. He sprayed perfect crosses but his teammates upfront, like Joseph Chikomo and Kenny Ledikwe, fired blanks. With about twenty minutes remaining, Maposa was given his marching orders for a professional foul. He left his goalpost to dispossess Ledikwe but referee adjudged him to have fouled him outside the box. The referee’s decision was seen by many to have been harsh on Maposa because he gave a straight red. A caution would have been better and it was not surprising when he burst into tears when he left the field. The sending off is Maposa’s second in five matches. He got the other one against Ecco City Green in Francistown about a fortnight ago. Just two games after his suspension, he received the other one. His elder brother, Joseph, ended up taking the reigns after one of the players, Jabu Pilane, was substituted.

Many supporters thought GU would take advantage of the situation but Centre Chiefs kept their cool and launched attacks with caution. GU, on the other hand, tried to take advantage of the numerical situation but failed to find the back of the net. While many people thought the game would end in a draw or GU would score one, Chiefs came with a surprise. They caught GU with a counter attack and Ramatlhakwane tapped in an easy goal after the ball had been parried by GU defence. Chiefs are still perched at the top of the table, and by the time of going to press, they were leading their closest challengers, Uniao Flamengo Santos by thirteen points.


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