Vol.21 No.191

Tuesday 14 December 2004    

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Sport
Prisons XI go top

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
12/14/2004 2:20:39 PM (GMT +2)

Abraham Makgado's solitary strike was enough to earn Prisons XI the all-important win over BMC in an enthralling St Louis Premier League match at SSKB Stadium on Sunday.


The win put Prisons XI on top of the Premier League table. The Warders, as Prisons XI are called in soccer circles, have 10 points from five games. Though both teams failed to produce scoring opportunities in the opening minutes, it was a tough tussle in the middle of the pack.

The first real chance of the match came in the 18th minute when BMC's Zara Mogwera managed to sneak his way past Prisons XI captain Kabelo Kgosiang down the right flank and sent in a dangerous cross. But Prisons XI defence cleared the danger. A minute later, Prisons' Onkabetse Boitshwarelo wasted a glorious opportunity, failing to beat the on-coming BMC goalkeeper, Cosmos Lombala. His attempt to chip Lombala was well read by the goalkeeper who rose high to tip the ball out for a corner.

Prisons XI finally broke the deadlock in the 30th minute after BMC conceded a free kick outside the box. Boitswarelo hit a thunderous shot which goalkeeper Lombala failed to handle. The ball fell to Makgado who made no mistake with an easy header. Prisons XI continued to pile pressure and in the 37th minute, Aaron Lesupi made a good run on the left before cutting inside but his fierce shot went over the bar.

After the break, Prisons XI continued where they left. They looked the better team early in the second half but poor finishing let them down. Though BMC were outstanding in the midfield with captain Michael Mogaladi and Mogwera working hard, they failed to produce good scoring opportunities. Their lot was made worse by the fact that the Prisons XI rearguard marshalled by Kgosiang kept the striking pair of Richard Mwanza and Mathews Mwape on a tight leash.

The best chance for BMC came in the 62nd minute when Mwanza's header from a Mogaladi free kick hit the upright with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Two minutes later, BMC coach, Lovemore Nyabeze, introduced Steven Chimbokaila for Mwape. BMC started to play like a unit and created numerous scoring chances but Prisons' custodian Khalid Niyonzima stood tall between the posts. The alert goalkeeper cut dangerous crosses from BMC's best player on the day, Joel Mogorosi. The winger tore through the left flank and created major problems for Prisons XI.

A minute from time, BMC nearly got the equaliser when Mogaladi sent in a long throw to the box. David Tsalaile did well to control and shield his opponent but his shot went wide much to the disappointment of the BMC supporters.

In a post-match interview, Prisons XI coach Clever Hunda praised his players for an outstanding performance. He hailed the team's supporters and the management saying "they were patient enough with me when I came here and the results are starting to show now". The team's next match is against Police XI on Wednesday night at Otse Police College.

Though BMC coach Nyabeze was happy with his team's performance and the fighting spirit, he said that the team needed young blood. "Soccer these days is more fast and more technical. You need young players who can cope with the pace of the game and mix them with more experienced players," he said. He asserted that they wasted scoring chances. "Our strikers did not anticipate balls in the box and you can never score if you don't shoot," he said.

In another Premiership game played at the DH Moore Stadium on Sunday, new boys Orapa Wanderers held visiting national champions BDF XI to a one all draw.

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