JWANENG; Jwaneng Galaxy used home ground advantage as they wallop Sharps Shooting Stars 2-0 in the season 8 Mascom top 8 quarter finals at Jwaneng stadium on 24th November 2018.
The game kicked off at 1545hours, this was their second meeting in the same venue as they met earlier in the BTC Premiership where they played to a 1 all draw.
The game started slow with both teams struggling to put the ball on the ground.
However Galaxy were showing signs of will. They were showing a willing spirit as attacks upon attacks were made earlier on the game.
Lebogang Ditsile came to the party as he contributed a lot in the teams performance. He was a pillar in the midfield, every ball, high or low found him in position to deal with easily. The tackles he made in the middle of the park were very crucial, he stopped a lot of balls trying to penetrate their midfield. They totally separated Sharps midfield from their striking force, totally broke the link. That is why Sharps could not get into their box most of the game.
Gilbert Baruti on the other hand was all over the field, on the wings he was present, in the middle he was there giving Sharps problems with his distribution skills. He was excellent with his long balls, picking a player from far with a long pass.
An early substitution came in through the injury of Wilfred Dithwane in the early first half saw the captain Olebogeng Malebye coming in. He brought in some stability in the midfield and now varrying the play from Baruti’s long ball passing to his short passes which caused trouble to Sharps.
Just a few minutes after his coming in, Patrick Kaunda received a pass from the Midfield, ran down the flank and made a ground pass across the box which found Olebogeng Malebye unmarked. He controlled the ball nicely and took a ground short to beat Thabiso Mathe.
It was now game on as Galaxy now got their opening goal. The game went on with Galaxy putting more pressure.
Sharps could not penetrate Galaxy, Khumoetsile Kufigwa was nowhere to be found, they had cut off his supply completely and every ball that went forward he was fighting for it. He was forced to come out of the box to come and collect from the midfield but it was not easy. Tried to play his one two short passes but was nicely guarded. His players were mostly far from him and that made things a bit difficult.
Letlhogonolo Chengela on the other hand tried to take them on with his skill and pace but found himself alone most of the time. He could not make an impact. The half hour mark came with Jwaneng Galaxy still in charge of the game with a 1-0 lead. Coming into the second half there was really no change in terms of approach from both teams.
The way they went is the way they came back, we saw Galaxy continue dominating the game until a substitution of Thabo Metlhayotlhe was made. Allen Ndodole came in for him and he came with some energy. Sharps began to have more balls and attacked more as Ndodole brought that element of keeping the ball and finding his teammates on the run. They started to dominate a bit and attacked more.
Kufigwa’s presence was now visible. The game went on like that, a few dangerous attacks from Galaxy which were properly handled by the Sharps defence.
Monageng Thaele was very busy at the back, he initiated attacks from his side going forward but that was not enough. Just when everyone thought the game would end 1-0, a school boy error occurred at the back, miscommunication between Tebogo Benjamin and his goalkeeper Thabiso Mathe.
An aerial ball came, Tebogo failed to clear it and let it bounce, Mathe came from his goal line and told Tebogo to leave it for him, Kaunda came from behind Tebogo before the keeper reached the ball, the keeper hit him with it and he opened his eyes to an empty net with the keeper and the defender behind him. Simply passed the ball into the net in the dying minutes of the game, it was all lost for Sharps.
Ayanda Molefe was brought in and Patrick Kaunda was substituted for Vincent Lekorwe after scoring a winner.
On the post match interview the Sharps coach said “it is a game of football, anything can happen but what I am happy about is that the boys applied everything that we had planned except for the errors, the silly mistakes that cane from nowhere, even the boys did not expect that they are things that can happen in football from our goalkeeper including the central backs”.
That was the coach Kentse Motlhale after the loss.The coach for Jwaneng Galaxy when asked about the approach for the game he said ” it is the same approach we do to every match. We start preparing for the game at the beginning of the week , concerning our opponents, we already played with them here and it was a draw so we knew more or less of what we could count and the approach of the game was completely the same, it’s a game of football, it is a competition and we want to win all the games, sometimes we can , sometimes we don’t and today we did and I think we did it very well.”
A happy man he was after the game.