Gaborone United (GU) managed to absorb pressure from Township Rollers to clinch the inaugural BTC Charity Cup and edged out their cross-town rivals 5-4 after a penalty shootout in a final played at the National Stadium. The two sides were locked at 1-1 in regulation time.
Prior to the final, The Reds beat Mochudi Centre Chiefs 2-0 in the first semi-final while Rollers knocked out Orapa United with a commanding 3-0 victory to give the fans the first dose of the Gaborone derby.
Rollers came into the game; the much-fancied side to clinch the cup and their first attempt came in the seventh minute. Segolame Boy delivered a square pass to Bogosi Nfila who did well to lose his marker, but his left footed shot went wide.
Against the run of play, GU took the lead through Ogomoditswe Bauleni with a cross turn shot that curled into the top left corner of Wagarre Dikago who was left flat footed.
Five minutes later, new signing Mandla Mgadla had a chance to double his side’s lead but shot straight into the hands of Dikago.
In the 25th-minute, winger Motsholetsi Sikele found himself in a good space to take a shot, but it was well collected by Goitseone Phoko as Rollers sought an equaliser.
Popa eventually levelled matters in the 34th-minute, when Sikele found Boyo Lechaena with a pinpoint cross.
The winger then beat Phoko at the far post with his second of the tournament. Four minutes to the break, Ivan Ntenge put a telling cross for Nfila whose header went wide. The two teams went into the break level at 1-1.
Rollers continued to pile pressure on GU, but failed to find that winning goal. In the 59th-minute, Nfila squandered yet another chance as his shot went over the bar. Four minutes later, Boy found himself in a good space but his rush
In the 89th-minute, Boy’s header forced a splendid save from Phoko, on the other side Dikago kept his side on the game as he parried Patrick Kabamba’s shot back into play.
The two were even at 1-1 at full-time as the game was to be decided in the lottery of a penalty shootout.
Mosha Gaolaolwe gifted the Reds an advantage after he skied his kick, as Kabamba slotted home the winning penalty to give his side the first piece of silverware into the new season.
“We played well, we have been playing well since pre-season. Coming into the games, we played well though our fitness level was not up to standard,” GU’s interim coach, Stephen Maposa said after the game.
“But we played according to the way fitness level was at and we did very well. It is a good feeling to play and win against a team like Rollers. It helps to grow and plan well for the new season.”
In the individual accolades, Rollers’ Gaolaolwe and Lechaena walked away with the player of the tournament and top goal scorer awards, Phoko was given the goalkeeper of the tournament award while Maposa walked away with the coach of the tournament award.
GU: Goitseone Phoko, Godwin Bonsu, Gaopatwe Seosenyeng, Gosegonna Molapisi, Tshepo Maikano, Alphonse Modisaotsile, Ogomoditse Bauleni, Obonwe Maome, Mandla Mgadla, Bophelo Oaitse, Patrick Kabamba
Rollers: Wagarre Dikago, Ivan Ntenge, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Kago Monyake, Maano Ditshupo, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Segolame Boy, Motsholetsi Sikele, Boyo Lechaena, Bogosi Nfila
GU 1 (5) (Bauleni 13th)
Rollers 1 (4) (Lechaena 34th)