MAHALAPYE: Mahalapye United Hotspurs produced a courageous performance to beat Motlakase Power Dynamos 1-0 in their quest to escape the relegation axe in their backyard on Saturday afternoon.
Their goalkeeper, Kago Mmopi, had a brilliant afternoon. He netted the sole goal through a penalty. He also pulled stunning saves and had a good command of the last line of defence.
Amahot who were desperate for a win had their 28-year-old coach Wame ‘Pepe’ Mokoke animated on the touchline. He screamed and encouraged his players to keep them going. The encounter endured a false start. Bizarrely, match officials arrived late. Five minutes before kickoff officials had not arrived. The host also arrived a few minutes after 4pm.
There was a kit clash when all had finished warm ups 20 minutes after time. The hosts were allowed a further 10 minutes to change regalia. The match started at 4:30 pm. When the game finally started, Amahot put a firm foot forward. Within five minutes they had three clear cut chances but failed to profit. In the second minute, Marcelo Salas wasted a 20-yard free kick in front the box.
In quick successions, Bolokang Moloi went one-on-one with the goalkeeper and failed to pick a spot. He then received a pinpoint pass on top of the 18-yard mark, but sent his shot agonizingly wide.
At the other end 10 minutes after kickoff, Omphemetse Bolofete released Serati Semadi with a long pass. He drilled a rocket from inside the box and the brilliant Mmopi parried out for a corner.
Three minutes later Amahot was awarded a penalty. Odirile Nthomphe was penalised for manhandling Moloi in the box. Mmopi stepped up and sent his opposite counterpart the wrong way. After conceding, Chouka immediately called their star player Itumeleng Mabuaaeme to replace Karabo Matlakala. They piled pressure and had their penalty appeal turned down when three defenders bundled down Katlego Ralegoreng.
Five minutes into the half, Ralegoreng dribbled past a hive of defenders and when everyone expected him to pull the trigger, he disappointedly tried a pass and the defender cleared out. Chouka saw another penalty appeal denied when Allen Ndodole was brought down in the box. The host had the last best chance. Amantle Motswetla dribbled past three defenders of the right and picked Omphile Mothatlhobi with a pinpointed cross, he controlled well inside the box but skied his effort. Three points might be enough for Amahot who sit precariously above Francistown City Greens on position 10, but their survival depends on whether the northern premiership sides does not relegate.
“We still have to wait. Our life depends on somebody else. If we survive; better, if we don’t it probably will be a blessing in disguise. We have struggled for resources and we failed to build a team,” Mokoke said.
His Chouka counterpart Pule Mogotsi was worried with the officiating. He said poor pre-match worked against them, but he accepted their fate. “Our fate has been decided, it’s unfortunate we will be here again next season. We just have to dust ourselves up and get back to the dust again,” he said.
Hotspurs: Kago Mmopi. Werero Ntshese. Bolokang Moloi, Salas Kemiso (Lesedi Melato), Mogomotsi Matlou, Innocent Madi, Tebogo Mogotsi, Amantle Motswetla, Edwin Raditsebe, Kabo Keletso (Omphile Motlhatlhobi), Kgosietsile Thebe
Motlakase: Kagiso Moganetsi, Odirile Gabaleswe, Katlego Ralegoreng, Tshephang Boithatelo, Serati Semadi (Samuel Makgoro), Karabo Matlakala (Itumeleng Mabuaaeme), Kentse Kgolokwane, Omphemetse Bolofete, Allen Ndodole, Odirile Nthomphe (Lapologang Motlogi)
Hotspurs 1 (Mmopi 14th)