Log leaders, Township Rollers thrashed Gaborone United (GU) 3-1 to claim the city's bragging rights in a BTC Premiership encounter played at the National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams met under contrasting circumstances as GU are battling off-field issues. The team parted ways with head coach, Rodolfo Zapata and resumed training on Thursday afternoon after a weeklong players’ alleged strike over unpaid salaries while Rollers are on a quest to defend the league title.
The match saw four goals being scored in the second period after a dull first half which was characterised by dubious decisions from match officials. The Reds had a player sent for an early shower. In the first 10 minutes, both teams had fair chances at goal with Bogosi Nfila shooting wide from inside the box in the second minute while on the 10th minute, Kabelo Seakanyeng outpaced his marker but missed the target. In the 22nd minute, Maano Ditshupo found Nfila in space, the striker beat advancing goalkeeper but had his shot blocked on the goal line by Godwin Bonsu. Rollers suffered a blow as Motsholetsi Sikele stretched out with a head injury and was replaced by Thato Bolweleng on the half hour mark. With two minutes to the break, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe headed straight into the goalkeeper’s hands from a corner bringing a close to a dull first half.
Seven minutes into the second half, Ditlhokwe missed another header which would have given GU the lead. However two minutes later, Segolame Boy gave Rollers the lead as he beat Goitseone Phoko with wonderful curling strike from miles outside the box. In the 65th minute, Keeagile Kgosipula superbly denied Thatayaone Kgamanyane with a one hand save from a free header inside the box. Two minutes later, Boy doubled Popa’s lead as he put one past Phoko who was miles away from his posts. In the 76th minute, Seakanyeng pulled one back as he
The midfielder had altercation with the referee that saw him receive his second booking and GU were reduced to 10 men. In the 90th minute, Popa broke on a counter, Boy laid for Lemponye Tshireletso but Alphonse Modisaotsile intercepted pass only to put the ball into his own net to make it 3-1 for Rollers.
“We tried to contain the game in the first half, but made mistakes here and there. Looking at how we played and our situation, I am happy with how they performed,” GU interim coach, Stephen Maposa said after the game. His counterpart, Rollers’ Nikola Kavazovic said his side deserved to win as they had full control of the game. “We had full control of the game and we deserved the win. Sikele’s injury disturbed our play but we talked about that at half time. We played well and deserved the win,” he said.
Rollers: Keeagile Kgosipula, Motsholetsi Sikele (Thato Bolweleng), Simisane Mathumo, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Kaone van der Westhuizen, Gape Mohutsiwa, Maaano Ditshupo, Galagwe Moyana (Tsepo Matete), Segolame Boy, Lemponye Tshireletso, Bogosi Nfila (Mthokosizi Msomi)
GU: Goitseone Phoko, Tshepo Maikano, Godwin Bonsu, Alphonse Modisaotsile, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Kutlwelo Mpolokang, Dirang Moloi, Karabo Phiri, Obonwe Maome (Jackson Lesole), Kabelo Seakanyeng, Thatayaone Kgamanyane
Cautions: Van Der Westhuizen
Rollers 3 (Boy 54th, 67th, Modisaotsile 90th)
GU 1 (Seakanyeng 76th)