Visiting Orapa United reached their third consecutive Mascom Top 8 final following a 4-1 thumping of Gaborone United (GU) in the second leg of the knockout competition played at the National Stadium on Saturday.
The Ostriches advanced with a 5-1 aggregate score after they defeated GU 1-0 in the first leg and will meet Township Rollers in the repeat of the 2016 final.
With the hosts, GU trailing by a goal after the 1-0 defeat in the first leg played in Orapa, they went all out to try and get an early goal. They were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box as early as the 10th minute.
Kennedy Amutenya’s effort was parried out of play by Orapa United goalkeeper, Mosimanegape Robert. The Reds dominated much of the ball possession in the first half as they looked to break the resilient Ostriches’ defence.
In the 22nd minute, Moyagoleele launched a quick counter attack and the final ball fell into Tshepo Maikano whose effort from outside the box was blocked by the defence. On the half hour mark, Tumisang Orebonye showed some quick feet and beat Thabang Mosige inside the box. Mosige was forced to push Orebonye in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Kabelo Seakanyeng stepped up and sent Robert to the wrong side to give his side the lead. The Ostriches levelled matters with five minutes to the half time break. GU goalkeeper, Ookeditse Semelamela tried to clear a long ball but it fell into Tendai Nyumasi’s path who easily tucked in from close range. The teams were level at 1-1 going in to the break.
Four minutes into the second half, Amutenya hit the lower upright from yet another set piece. In the 54th minute, the visitors took the lead as attacker Onkabetse Makgantai tucked in from close range to
Kobamelo Kebaikanye forced a double save from Semelamela in the 81st minute with two consecutive shots from outside the box.
Two minutes later, Kebaikanye extended his side’s lead as he beat Semelamela to the far bottom corner. Kebaikanye got his brace in the additional time as he curled in a corner kick into the goal ensuring that the Ostriches cruise into the final.
Speaking to journalists after the game, GU coach Rodolfo Zapata was lost for words and said he wants to move quickly from the humbling defeat. “Congratulations to Orapa. They were so good. They deserve it. My players tried their best. We will sit down with the chairperson, Rapula (Okaile) to plan for the league competition and future of the club.”
His counterpart, Orapa United’s Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare praised his troops for executing well the game plan and reaching the final. “It was a highly tactical game. We knew they will come at us, and they did. We contained and countered. I am happy for the boys. I want to win this cup,” he said.
GU: Ookeditse Semelamela, Tshepho Maikano (Bophelo Oaitse), Godwin Bonsu, Kennedy Amutenya, Kutlwelo Mpolokang, Karabo Phiri (Obonwe Maome), Thatayaone Ditlhokwe (Mothusi Johnson), Thatayaone Kgamanyane, Kabelo Seakanyeng, Tumisang Orebonye, Dirang Moloi
Orapa: Mosimanegape Robert, Thabang Mosige, Olekantse Mambo, Kealeboga Molebatsi, Lesenya Ramoraka, Tapiwa Nyamanjiva, Baboloki Makhura, Kobamelo Kebaikanye, Onkabetse Makgantai (Lemogang Maswena), Tendai Nyumasi (Ronald Chikomo), Omaatla Kebatho (Gift Moyo)
Cautions: Seakanyeng, Orebonye