GABORONE; The national stadium held one of the biggest fixtures in our elite league in the week 11 of the BTC Premiership yesterday on the 10th November 2018.
This was an encounter between the top table teams, Township Rollers and Orapa United where we saw Orapa being the first team this season to beat the Gaborone giants, Township Rollers by 2-1 at the National Stadium.
This is normally a fixture that attracts a lot of interest around the country as most of the time when the two teams meet, there is a kind of rivalry that exists. One of the factors is the quality that both teams have. It is difficult to predict their game as any of them can beat the other at any time any given day.
The game started with Palastina showing intentions of winning the game. The first 10 minutes of the game Orapa was on the receiving end as Popa went on to them to get an early goal.
Chances were created and squandered at that time as the defence of Orapa was not at their best. Rollers dominated possession in those minutes. The Ostriches managed to hold on and slowly got into the game. As the game matured we saw Orapa being able to now have the ball and make some touches going forward.
However the absence of Tendai Nyumasi was visible as the midfield lacked creativity. They were able to win the balls especially Nyamanjiva, he was more busy and made a lot of tackles. Orapa was not able to feed their strikers well, the likes of Jerome Ramatlhakwana hardly touched the ball.
This was caused by the lack of a creative and a ball passer in the midfield of Orapa. Mothusi Cooper was also a factor as he was also winning a lot of balls in the middle. His tackles were strong and also his positioning. Always in the right place at the right time for winning the ball.
Segolame Boy was also on form on the wing. His touches , the crosses were quality. He just needed someone to link with nicely. The likes of Matsabu or Boyo Lechaena who are very offensive.
Most of his crosses were intercepted by Olekantse Mambo. Tshireletso was far from him most of the time, Joel Mogorosi on the other hand was closely guarded by Mmabo and this reduced his options when he has the ball. Segolame Boy was forced to try pick them with long balls.
Orapa had a game plan, and that was to play a high line football, whereby they allow Rollers to have the ball and catch them on the counter. They understood that the likes of Mathumo and Mosha enjoy going forward. This worked for as we saw the first goal from a combination between Maswena and Mabaya getting them a goal that was nicely finished by Onkemetse Powe. The game went for break with Orapa leading by a goal to zero.
After break nothing changed the approach was the same for both teams. Rollers continued looking for an equaliser but Orapa’s defence had now regrouped and was able to defend very well. The game became hot as we saw a lot of yellow cards coming out, time was running out. Mini Cooper got a yellow card for for his hard tackles. On Orapa side , Tapiwa Nyamanjiva, Ke lapile Ndlovu, Gofaone Mabaya and Jerome Ramatlhakwana were all booked. This goes on to show the kind of pressure they were under. In the thick of things, in the struggle that was on Joel Mogorosi finally soothes the Popa Nation with an equalizing goal. Hope was restored upon the Blue nation, they started to believe again. However fate was not on their side as we saw Lemogang Maswena scoring a winning goal for the Ostritches and took off his shirt in celebration.
Ofcourse he got a yellow card for that act. It was 2-1. A set back for Popa. Changes were made in order to improve the game Lemponye Tshireletso and Tumisang Orebonye made way for Bogosi Mfila and Kago Monyake. Orapa also made changes as we saw Lemogang Maswena coming out immediately after celebrating his goal and Jerome Ramatlhakwana making way for Kobamelo Kebaikanye and Baboloki Makhura. The game ended with Orapa United winning by 2-1 making sure that they are level on points with Township Rollers at the Top of the log.
Other BTC Premiership games that were played were; Police XI 1-2 BDF XI, Notwane Fc 1-0 Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Miscellaneous Sporting Club 2-3 Gaborone United, Jwaneng Galaxy 1-1 Extension Gunners, Sankoyo Bush Bucks 1-0 Sharps Shooting Stars, Black Forest 1-1 BR Highlanders.
The line up for Township Rollers were; Wagarre Radikago, Jackson Lesole, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Simisani Mathumo, Maano Ditshupo, Mothusi Cooper, Segolame Boy, Lemponye Tshireletso, Tumisang Orebonye, Joel Mogorosi.
Reserves; Bogosi Mfila, Motsholetsi Sikele, Ivan Ntenge, Boyo Lechaena, Kago Monyake, O buile Ncenga, Keagile Kgosipula.
For Orapa United was; Kaelo Joseph, Kealeboga Buzwani Molebatsi, Olekantse Mambo, Tapiwa Crispen Nyamanjiva, Mothusi Johnson, Mooketsi Tlhabano, Kelapile Ndlovu, Norman Gofaone Mabaya, Lemogang Maswena, Onkemetse Mike Powe, Jerome Ramatlhakwana.
Reserves ; Lesenya Malepela, Kago Mangube, Kobamelo Kebaikanye, Tumelo Majola, Baboloki Makhura, Molaodi Tlhalefang, Tendai Nyumasi.