LOBATSE: Kgatleng giants, Mochudi Centre Chiefs defied odds and stunned defending champions, Jwaneng Galaxy 2-1 in the first leg of the Mascom Top 8 quarterfinal played here on Friday night.
Magosi, who have been struggling with results since the beginning of the season, appeared determined to restore pride despite conceding early in the game.
Both sides picked up defensive line-ups with the home team, Chiefs starting with five central midfielders. Captain Lesego Galenamotlhale, who usually plays a defensive role in the middle of the park, was seen at times shifting to the wing or behind the lone striker, Khumoetsile Kufigwa while Nelson Moreetsi, Lawrence Majawa, Botshelo Lorato and Thato Ogopotse crowded the midfield. Galaxy also congested the midfield and put two strikers, Tebogo Sembowa and Patrick Kaunda up front.
As early as the second minute, Kaunda was given room to control the ball on the edge of the Chiefs’ box and took a shot, which gave Maposa no chance. The goal destroyed Chiefs’ plan to avoid conceding as the home side but did not deter them from aiming for a victory.
In the 19th minute, they pulled one back through Kufigwa. A good cross was delivered into the box by left back Gosegonna Molapisi. Galaxy tried to make a clearance but the ball fell into the path of Kufigwa who levelled matters with a brilliant volley. The game came to life although it did not produce clear-cut chances with both sides cancelling out each other in the middle of the park. However six minutes before half time, Chiefs took the lead through Galenamotlhale. He had delivered a dangerous cross into the box during open play but Galaxy goalkeeper, Ezekiel Morake made a brilliant save and conceded a corner. However from a corner kick, Galaxy defence found themselves wanting and
The second half did not produce much in terms of chances despite Galaxy introducing proven goal scorer, Terrence Mandaza for Kaunda. Chiefs also brought in Thatayaone Ramatlapeng but both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances in the second half. Chiefs took the much needed lead going into the second leg in a fortnight while Galaxy will have to do much more at home if they are to advance to the next stage. Speaking to the media after the game, Chiefs assistant coach, Innocent Morapedi said it was a question of trying during Saturday’s game. “We tried. We always try to make corrections after every game. We had one-on-one with the players to show them that they are the ones who are supposed to deliver,” he said. For his part, Galaxy coach, Mike Sithole said the way Chiefs scored the second goal showed they were not working properly at the back hence the adjustments in which Setsile and Baruti came before half time.
Chiefs: Noah Maposa, Goitseone Legopelo, Gosegonna Molapisi, Keabetswe Jenamiso, Thato Kebue, Lawrence Majawa, Lesego Galenamotlhale, Nelson Moreetsi (Thatayaone Ramatlapeng), Khumoetsile Kufigwa, Thato Ogopotse, Botshelo Lorato
Galaxy: Ezekiel Morake, Thabo Leinanyane, Oabile Makopo, Tebogo Moroka, Boitumelo Mafoko, Tebogo Sosome, Batlang Sosome (Thato Setsile), Olebogeng Malebye, Atisang Batsi (Gilbert Baruti), Patrick Kaunda (Terence Mandaza), Tebogo Sembowa
Referee: Tirelo Mositwane
Cautions: Maposa, Oabile Makopo, Tebogo Moroka
Chiefs 2 (Kufigwa 19th, Galenamotlhale 39th)
Galaxy 1 (Kaunda 2nd)