Orapa United and Police XI played to a goalless draw in the BTC Premiership encounter played at the Otse Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Isaiah ‘Sthandwa’ Mogwadi was forced to play with a makeshift defence with midfielders Katlego Masole and Uyapo Seleka deployed to the center back and left back roles respectively in the absence of Gaopatwe Seosenyeng and Otsile Batang who are out with injuries.
For the Ostriches, Bongani Mafu filled his starting 11 with fringe players with the cup clash against Rollers on sight.
Either side could have bagged the three points on the afternoon but were let down by some poor finishing.
In the first quarter of the game neither side got to the rhythm of the game as the Ostriches were caught offside three times while the visitors’ goalkeeper Kaelo Joseph went down with an injury as early as the second minute.
But in the 17th minute, Orapa broke with pace; Lemogang Maswena put a cross for Jerome Ramatlhakwana who was superbly denied by Kamogelo Mogomotsi from a header inside the box.
Police quickly got their feet in the game and dominated the proceedings asking questions in the final third but could break the deadlock.
In the 37th minute after pressing their opponents for most parts of the half, Hendrick Moyo hit the upright with the Jungle Kings’ first real chance at goal. The teams went into break level at goalless at 0-0.
Five minutes into the second half, Police XI keeper, Kamogelo Mogomotsi was called into action as he held Ramatlhakwana’s attempt from a free kick. In the 55th minute, Ramatlhakwana missed another sitter as he tried to lob the
Two minutes later on the other end, after some enterprising passes exchange between Eliphas Nyambi and Moyo, the former with his weaker left foot tried from the edge of the box it went straight in to the keeper’s hands.
A minute later, Moyo’s low drive attempt was well collected by Joseph. In dying minutes of the game, substitute Kobamelo Kebaikanye effort from outside the box, flew just over the bar as the two sides shared spoils on the day.
“It is two points lost. We did not maximise the opportunities. We opened them but did not have that finishing touch. So in the end it is two points lost,” Mafu said, reacting on the draw.
On the other hand, Mogwadi was happy to gain a point from the match but bemoaned poor finishing. “Picking a point from a tough team like Orapa is a lot.
They are a good side and pound to pound they are a better than us. I had injuries in my squad but the guys who were on the field performed very well,” he said.
Police: Kamogelo Mogomotsi, Betsho Pius, Uyapo Seleka, Gorata Keorapetse, Katlego Masole, Kagiso Dithebe, Eliphas Nyambi (David Makakaba), Letlhogonolo Senwelo, Hendrick Moyo, Tapiwa Gadibolae, Mpho Kgomo (Leago Kgaswane)
Orapa: Kaelo Joseph, Obonwe Moswate, Mosimanegape Ntwaetsile, Olekantse Mumbo, Mooketsi Hlabano, Lesego Galenamotlhale, Baboloki Makhura, Gift Moyo (Tendai Nyumasi), Patrick Lenyeletse (Kobamelo Kebaikanye), Lemogang Maswena, Jerome Ramatlhakwana (Ronald Chikomo)