PALAPYE: Unadventurous Motlakase Power Dynamos did enough in the dying minutes to edge Great North Tigers (GNT) by a solitary goal from Omphemetse Bolofete in a cold Saturday affair at Palapye Swallows.
Motlakase coach Pule Mogotsi termed the affair a weak performance against a less threatening side. “Our opponents were flat and we failed to impose ourselves on them. We had so many attacking players in this game, but we threatened less in the box. We failed to play the way we set up,” he said.
From the first whistle, Chouka took the game to the visitors and by the second minute, they already had two corner kicks. They worked their way up easily past the GNT clumsy midfield but were too casual with possession in the last third of the field. They linked well into good positions but failed to test the GNT goalkeeper, who collected most of their efforts with ease.
The less offensive GNT were messy and easily gave away possession of the ball. Their first and only chance of the first half in the offensive was a 25th minute 45 yards attempt from Samuel Masabata that went over the bar.
Chouka’s Allen Ndodole saw his 20-yard drive on the half hour mark parried over by Thatayaone Thandazela after an enterprising exchange of passes with Katlego Ralegoreng. Chouka’s captain Tshephang Boithatelo missed a sitter in the closing minute of the half when Lapologang Motlogi set him up with a cushioned header unmarked in the 16 yard box but the captain made a mess of the ball, the keeper reacted fast to snatch it off his feet.
The beginning of the second stanza panned out in a similar fashion as the first despite early changes by both sides. The hosts’ first chance towards goal in the final half came on the 74th minute when Motlogi’s goal bound drive from inside the box was blocked
Against the run of play, GNT saw their only threatening chance of the game cleared off the line. Substitute Kabelo Letshola latched into a block and quickly laid a telling cross for Thabo Leposo inside the box who looped the attacking goalkeeper, but Omphemetse Bolofete had read the danger and cleared off the goal mouth. Ralegoreng missed an identical sitter as his captain on the 83rd minute. Bolofete cushioned down the corner with a header for Ralegoreng, who controlled well in the 16 yard, but he shot into the goalkeeper’s gloves.
On the 89th minute, Bolofete who marshalled the defence well took the bull by the horns and stole the win for his side.
The lanky Bolofete rose high and redirected Mabuaaeme’s last minute free kick to the far post to send Chouka fans that were almost agitated into wild celebrations. After the goal, Chouka held on to the ball and winded the clock.
“We allowed them too much time on the ball and we did not do much offensively but we could have managed a draw,” GNT coach Edward Leposo said after the encounter. Mogotsi was happy with the three points despite a disappointing display. “Three points is all important in all situations, especially at this time but we are worried and we will work harder.”
Motlakase: Kagiso Moganetsi, Odirile Gabaleswe, Omphemetse Bolofete, Tshephang Boithatelo, Thapelo Chabalala (Serati Semadi), Allen Ndodole (Samuel Makgoro), Kentse Kgolokwane, Thabo Wetshoemang, Katlego Ralegoreng (Karabo Matlakala), Lapologang Motlogi, Itumeleng Mabuaaeme
GNT: Thatayaone Thandezela, Maemo Sekepe, Bollen Modise, Thabo Leposo (Kabo Ogolotse), Montatodi Molapisi, Gothusamang Nkola (Kabelo Letshola), Aobakwe Mopaki, Thuo Masuo, Moagi Marman, Batshwere Olebeng
Cautions: Thandazela, Leposo, Ralegoreng