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Lions Not Thinking Promotion Yet

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
The stage proved too big for the national Under-23 side as they fell 2-1 to Malawi PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Debswana First Division south side, Gilport Lions coach, Paradzayi Mandivenga does not want to discuss the possibility of promotion yet despite his team’s good run.

Lions are currently sitting at the top of the log standings after winning five of its first six games. On Saturday after thumping hapless Mogoditshane Fighters, thanks to a hat-trick from striker, Serati Semadi at Lekidi Astro Turf ground, Mandivenga said that gaining promotion at the end of the season back to the Premier league would be a bonus.

“We have sat down with my executive management and agreed that we will not put ourselves under any pressure by talking about promotion. If we get promoted it would be a bonus. But so far so good. I am happy that we won five of the six we played and it is looking good,” said the Zimbabwean gaffer.

He said that despite his team consisting of young players, they have been able to gel as a team and produce the goods. Mandivenga, who went down with the team after it was axed last season said that he was happy with the performance of his players, especially the young striker Semadi.

“He is young and seems to be enjoying himself. You can see even the body language. There is no doubt about his talent and scoring ability as he has scored in almost all our previous games. I am happy that today he got the hat-trick,” he added.

On Saturday, Lions were the first to settle with beautiful interchanges in the middle of the park as their captain, Botlhe Rakaki pulled the strings in the centre.

Their first chance of the match came in the 13th minute as striker Thabiso Keakitse forced a save from the goalkeeper from close range.

As Lions continued searching for an opener, Keakitse linked up well with Semadi, but he shot

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wide in the 20th minute. The opener came three minutes later after Semadi beat his marker and scored with a low driven shot at the far post.

Gliport went to the break leading by two goals after Semadi scored his second in the 41st minute. He again proved too hot for the Fighters defence in the second half when he added his third of the match after the defence had failed to clear a loose ball in the box.

Fighters’ only chance fell to their best player on the day, Ototeng Dintwa in the last minutes of the game. However, he was denied by brilliant goalkeeping from Mabitso Rapowa.

Meanwhile, Fighters coach Tebogo Mothusi who was visibly frustrated throughout the match as his team put up a dismal performance, blamed lack of proper preparation during the off-season.

He said that the team lost a good number of the young key players during the transfer window. “It is tough. We were just disjointed and our defence was struggling for pace. They are old folks and their (Gilport) strikers stretched them. They just couldn’t cope. I just want the window to open so that we try to reinforce,” he said.

Mothusi lamented the fact that his players are BDF XI’s targets in every transfer window and are unable to keep them.

 

The Teams:

Gilport Lions: Rapowa, Tshepo Ramhenngwa, Lone Taele, Bakang Keoagile, Babedi Nchoko, Rakaki, Stephen Sibanda, Karabo Sebego (Moemedi Monaka), Keakitse, Semadi, Arthur Coetzee (Tshepang Molefe)

Fighters: Leago Metseyabeng, Thatayaone Pitso, Samson Ramakoba, Otsile Modisane, Mompati Pitlasanyo, Lorato Mosweu, Othusegile Botsetswe, Andrew Andrew Nchisiyanwa, Mothusi Maika, Phomolo Sitwane, Dintwa.

Gilport Lions 3 (Semadi 23rd, 41st, 80th)

Fighters 0



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