The Monitor :: Kebatho’s Solitary Strike Hands Ostriches Slim Advantage Over GU
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Sunday 18 February 2018, 21:00 pm.
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Kebatho’s Solitary Strike Hands Ostriches Slim Advantage Over GU

ORAPA: Orapa United produced a disciplined display to subdue a free scoring Gaborone United (GU).
By Koketso Kgoboge Mon 29 Jan 2018, 08:43 am (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Kebatho’s Solitary Strike Hands Ostriches Slim Advantage Over GU








Omaatla Kebatho’s towering header was enough to wrap up their good performance in front of a full house at Itekeng Stadium on Friday evening. The Ostriches take a slim 1-0 advantage into the second leg of the Mascom Top 8 semi-final that will be played in Gaborone.

The encounter saw the return of Tendai Nyumasi who has been sidelined with muscle injuries for over three months and Onkabetse Makgantai who was out for seven months pending international clearance from former side; As Vita of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Inclusion of the two rusty players was a mental game by the Ostriches’ technical team and it paid dividends. Nyumasi and Makgantai were less threatening, but their presence kept the Reds defensive line in the back foot.

“It (inclusion of Nyumasi) was a technical gamble but it worked. He is still not in a good shape and Makgantai also lacks match fitness, but they did well. Their presence made our opponents cautious and less offensive,” Ostriches coach, Daniel Nare said.

The real battle was in the congested middle of the park where both sides cancelled each other out soundly. The visitors showed prowess of good ball retention whenever in possession, but Tapiwa Nyamandjiva and Baboloki Makhura did well to shut out Dirang Moloi and Thatayaone Kgamanyane.

The Zimbabwean destroyer played out the ‘Spanish Guitar’. In fact Moloi was nowhere to be seen the entire first half. He had less than 10 touches of the ball and was kept far from the danger zone the entire game.

The Ostriches were enterprising going forward. Kebatho linked well with Makgantai and Kobamelo kebaikanye. Four minutes before his half hour mark goal, Kebatho skied a half chance when he stole the ball from unsuspecting Godwin Bonsu near the box.

Ostriches pressure upfront saw the Reds conceding too

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many corner kicks. From the fourth corner that was whipped in by the intelligent foot of Kealeboga Molebatsi, Kebatho rose high up and redirected into the far corner to beat a rooted Ookeditse Semelamela.

The malfunction of the Reds orchestrating unit starved their attack, unlike their usual marauding self they went to the break with only two shots at goal.

First Obonye Maome skied his long-range effort but it was Kabelo Seakanyeng’s goal bound drive, which was parried into the crossbar by Mosimanegape Robert that sent a chill down spines of Ostriches supporters.

Second half ensued just like the first and the inclusion of Tumisang Orebonye for Maome made no difference without supply from the midfield.

Ostriches back four led by their skipper Thabang Mosige swept all Reds attacks under the carpet.  For his command in defence Mosige was rewarded with a man of the match award.

Nare was happy with a well-deserved point after a clean tactical display. He acknowledged a slim advantage against a tough side and said they will not be carried away going into the second leg.

His counterpart at GU, Rodolfo Zapata said the game was tough and closed but said he has faith in his boys to turn around the tables at home when the two sides meet in the last leg. “It is going to be tough but I trust my boys (to do the job). I believe in them.”

 

Orapa United 1 (Kebatho 29th)

Gaborone United 0

 

Teams:

Orapa United: Mosimanegape Robert, Olekantse Mambo, Thabang Mosige, Lesenya Ramoraka, Kealeboga Molebatsi, Tapiwa Nyamanjiva, Baboloki Makhura, Kobamelo Kebaikanye, Onkabetse Makgantai (Lemogang Maswena), Tendai Nyumasi (Ronald Chikomo), Omaatla Kebatho

Gaborone United: Ookeditse Semelamela, Tshepho Maikano, Godwin Osei Bonsu, Kennedy Amutenya, Alphonse Modisaotsile, Karabo Phiri (Bophelo Oaitse), Thatayaone Dithokwe, Thatayaone Kgamanyane, Kabelo Seakanyeng, Obonwe Maome (Tumisang Orebonye), Dirang Moloi

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