BY: Katlego Mechidi
Eleven Angels made history by becoming the latest team to be promoted into the Botswana Premier League for the 2022-2023 season. Thousands of spectators packed Francistown City Council Stadium to witness this epic second-leg duel for premier league promotion between Eleven Angels and Mochudi Center Chiefs.
Seemo ‘Sixteen’ Mpatane stole the show as he led “Lekgamu la Bananyana” as Eleven Angels are affectionately known by their legion of supporters to a five-goal salvo over Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
Mpatane led the team from the dugout as his team ran rings around an out-of-sorts Center Chiefs. The first leg that was played in Mochudi at River plate grounds ended in a nil-all draw.
Lekgamu la Bananyana three years ago was languishing in the doldrums of the Debswana First Division North region. However, the tables have turned and the team is now popping bottles of champagne to celebrate their promotion into the Botswana premier league.
Eleven Angels join a whole host of former premier league teams from the to have plied their trade in the premier league in the likes of TAFIC, Ecco City Greens, and Sankoyo Bucks. Magosi as Mochudi Centre Chiefs are known by their fans failed to beat any of these northern division teams in the ended Debswana First Division North region league.
Mpatane only aged 31 started off his career with this team as a youth league coach in 2011 and successfully registered it officially to Botswana Football Association in 2013. The rest is history as their journey started in the 2013/14 season with Francistown Football Association (FRAFA) Division Two.
It took the team four years to become the champions qualifying them for the Debswana First Division playoffs where they emerged victorious earning a spot into first Division North during the 2017/18 season.
In the First Division North, his team played only for three seasons and managed to qualify for this season’s premier league promotional playoffs after finishing in the second position behind Nico United with thirty-nine points.
Defeating Mochudi Center Chiefs made Mpatane’s side defeatless in a playoff game since its foundation and became the first team this season to score more than three goals against the stubborn Magosi which only conceded ten goals this season.
Eleven Angels found the back of the net in the 19th minute of the game from the spot through Desmond Mtukofa, a goal which caused a fight between the spectators of the two sides resulting in the game being paused for about 20 minutes to calm the situation.
Mompati Mbizo doubled the lead of the home side in the 29th minute of the game from a well-taken corner. In the 32nd minute, Mtukofa completed his brace from a corner also making it three Eleven Angels.
Late in the second half in the 77th minute, Monty Enosa tore the hearts of Magosi fans even more scoring goal number four before Fungani Muzila finished off the game with goal number five just nine minutes before the final whistle of the game
THE VICTORY IS FOR BOTSWANA FOOTBALL-MPATANE
During an interview after the game, Mpatane explained “The win is a great victory, not for me as a coach nor Eleven Angels, but it’s the victory for Botswana football in general and for its development,” said an ecstatic Mpatane. “I would also want to thank the Francistown community for coming in large numbers.
“This is a great victory, it is not my victory, it is not Eleven Angels victory, let’s be honest, it is a victory for Botswana football, it is a victory for the development, so I hope it encourages everyone to know that the development is really a magic,” said Mpatane.
“This has been a season of dedication, sacrifice, perseverance, and passion and this is what has taken Sixteen and his team this far.
This weekend was the highlight of his career as he harvested the fruits of his hard work. A beautiful day like this cannot be ignored by any football lover as Sixteen has carved his name in the hearts of many football lovers especially in Francistown as the city will once again enjoy premier league football in the 2022 -2023 premier league season.