Township Rollers put one leg into the semi-final of the Mascom Top 8 with a 2-0 win over BDF XI on a cold, wet Saturday afternoon at the National Stadium.
BDF XI have a mammoth task to reverse the scores after losing by two goals in their home game. The match was played under cloudy conditions for the players, but the teams did not produce any spark in the first 10 minutes.
Tackles flew around for the most part of the half but referee, Moemedi Tlhabologang, kept his cards in his pocket.
Matebele kept their defence line tight, with Rollers looking the more offensive side.
The teams went to the break locked at 0-0. From the start of the second half, Rollers kept pressing their opponents in search of a goal as BDF XI kept it tight and looked to catch their opponents on the counter. Popa’s efforts were eventually rewarded in the 55th minute as Jerome Ramatlhakwana opened the scores. Rollers intercepted the ball in the midfield, laid to Ramatlhakwana who beat his marker, Bonolo Phuduhudu with a nutmeg and unleashed a thunderbolt from outside the box.
Popa doubled their lead eight minutes later through substitute, Lemponye Tshireletso. Edwin Moalosi laid a through ball to Tshireletso who beat his markers and put past the advancing keeper to double the lead with his first touch of the match. Keeper, Kabelo Dambe gifted Matebele a chance to pull one back as he fumbled but Keeagile Kobe failed to capitalise in the 76th minute.
With five minutes to time, Onkabetse Seforo tried from outside the box but it sailed over the bar. On the counter,
“We will be hoping to overturn the scores. This is a cup game; we are not giving up. We will be playing away and we will want to overturn that 2-0. We will have to come all out,” he said.
His counterpart, Rollers’ Nikola Kavazovic said his opponents, matched the quality of his team hence prevented his side from playing their normal game. “They were equal.
They prevented us to demonstrate our style of play. I’m more satisfied with our defensive play. We dominated ball possession. Although we did not create more chances, but I am satisfied,” he said.
BDF XI: Michael James, Pelontle Lerole, Kelepile Terata (Botsalo Oatlhotse), Bonolo Phuduhudu, Emmanuel Nlu, Onkabetse Seforo, Keeagile Kobe, Bitwell Phiri (Pako Moloi), Rashid Mandawa, Mgcini Sibanda, Phenyo Serameng (Richard Legwaila)
Rollers: Kabelo Dambe, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Simisane Mathumo, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Edwin Olerile, Maano Ditshupo, Ivan Ntenge, Segolame Boy, Motsholetsi Sikele (Lemponye Tshireletso), Edwin Moalosi (Tsepo Matete), Jerome Ramatlhakwana (Mthokozisi Msomi)
Rollers 2 (Ramatlhakwana 55th, Tshireletso 63rd)