Mmegi Online :: Beleaguered Lions enter Ostrichesí fortress
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Last Updated
Monday 23 January 2017, 16:44 pm.
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Beleaguered Lions enter Ostrichesí fortress

FRANCISTOWN: Gilport Lions will hope to brush off their troubles this evening when they return to face Orapa United at the Itekeng Stadium, a fortress they have assumed a happy hunting ground.
By Koketso Kgoboge Fri 16 Dec 2016, 13:53 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Beleaguered Lions enter Ostrichesí fortress








Lions are still dealing with issues of transition of ownership from the current owner, Kelesitse Gilika to the former owners, BMC committee, which has adversely affected on field matters.

The team has thus far missed two league games. First a home match a month ago against Mochudi Centre Chiefs and another home fixture this past weekend against Sankoyo Bush Bucks, which was scheduled for Otse Police College. Nonetheless, Lions have established themselves as party poopers in Orapa and they will be looking to cause another upset. They are the only side in the past two years to have descended Itekeng and claimed maximum points.

In fact, before Orapa United lined up a home-unbeaten streak back in August 2014, they had succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Gilport Lions. Earlier this year, Lions returned to cruelly end United’s 20-month unbeaten home run with a 1-0 win and in the process shutting United’s league title pursuit. In their past four meetings since 2014, the odds favour Lions. Lions beat the Ostriches in Orapa twice and The Ostriches won away twice and they are only better by a solitary goal in the goal difference.

Lions have also performed fairly well in the games they have played since the beginning of the season save for those they did not honour. Out of the eight they have played they won three, drew two and lost thrice. They have accumulated 11 points. They have also done well defensively conceding four goals and scoring 11.

The club coach, Paradzayi Mandivenga said despite the off the pitch troubles that have engulfed his side, business on the pitch is taken seriously. He said the squad is fully fit and ready to claim the Ostriches’ scalp. “When we get

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into the pitch we put politics aside. We have been on and off but we have recuperated and at the moment we are doing fine. He said the only problem now is that they have missed the games but have done well in the games they had played. He said they are confident that they can still do well against Orapa.

The Ostriches on the other hand are waiting in envy for retaliation. They are 11 places above Lions and have managed to maintain their spot at the top of the league table and yet to lose a game this season.

From the 11 games they have played, they have accumulated 21 points with five wins and six draws scoring, 16 and conceding six United comes into this encounter buoyed by a 3-1 away win against tough opponents BDF XI.

United’s coach, Madinda Ndlovu views this fixture as totally different from the game they lost against Lions in Orapa last season. He said at the time there were so many factors that contributed to their downfall including that they were fresh from a Mascom Top 8 final, which he said had drained his players and it was also late in the season.

“It is a different ball game all together. Now we are meeting at an early stage in the league when we are still fresh. One of our targets is to win the league and this time we are hungry to put something in the bag.”

He said the problem with them now is the injuries. “We are troubled by injuries, but for this game we have the squad that has played in the last encounter against BDF XI available to do the work,” he said.

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