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Rollers search for answers as goals dry

KABELO BORANABI
Mogorosi began the season in great goal scoring form
Township Rollers are enduring a lean spell in front of goal, which has seen the side find the goal once every 90 minutes in the past eight matches.

Their slow scoring rate continued during the CAF Champions League tie against Bantu FC of Lesotho. Usually free-scoring, The Blues are struggling in front after parting ways with coach, Nikola Kavazovic in October, which has seen their goal ratio drop to one per game.

Under Kavazovic, Popa scored 15 goals in just six games making an impressive average of 2.5 goals in a match.  But under goalkeeper coach, Thabo Motang who is serving on interim basis, the team has scored a single goal per match in eight games.

The Kavazovic-led Rollers deployed a rather patient approach, building their move from the back than the team’s accustomed wing play. The new style of play saw dependence for goals shifting from just the strikers, with the midfielders easing the pressure.  Motang has admitted that the goals are hard to come by and was also lost for answers.  “We are worried.  If you look at the first six games, we scored 14 goals and suddenly we have scored just eight in eight games.  It is not about the strikers, but the team as a whole,” Motang said after the team’s 1-0 win over Black Forest last Friday in the first leg of the quarterfinals.

The teams will battle again tomorrow afternoon at the Molepolole Sports Complex in the second leg as they look to book their spot in the semifinals.   Mogoleng’s interim coach, Reetsang Letlole has a similar problem to contend with.  He said they will have to be at their best to overcome the defending champions at home. 

“We will be looking to overturn the score, we are looking to score goals.  Despite the defeat, it is not over yet, we will have to be more offensive, but very cautious at the back. We will look for results in every way we can, we want to reach the next round,” he said.

 In another quarterfinal tie, Sharps Shooting Stars will have

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to be at their sharpest this evening when they welcome Jwaneng Galaxy at the Molepolole Sports Complex. Sharps went down 2-0 to Galaxy in the away leg played a fortnight ago.

The Excellence Stars will be looking to overcome their hoodoo side after four failed attempts.  Their best result has been a goalless draw against the boys from the mining town.  Both sides are on a similar streak in the last five games after playing two draws, winning twice and losing once in the league. However, Sharps have a better scoring record with nine goals as compared to Galaxy’s five. 

After bowing out of the CAF Confederations Cup, Orapa United have a mountain to climb as they look to overcome a 1-0 deficit to BDF XI in a game to be played at the Lobatse Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon.  Matebele boost the second best defence this season after conceding just seven goals in 13 games.  The Ostriches will be without experienced goal poacher, Jerome Ramatlhakwana who is nursing an injury. Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote will rely on the striking trio of Molaodi Tlhalefang, Christian Epoupo and Omaatla Kebatho. 

The trio has only scored only once in five games, a goal which came via the boot of Kebatho.  On the other hand, BDF XI’s Moatlhodi Ralesotla has since found his scoring touch with five goals to his name this campaign. Orapa are on a three game winless streak while Matebele have not tasted a defeat in five games.

 On Monday evening, Gaborone United welcome Miscellaneous at the Molepolole Sports Complex. The Reds hold a slim one-goal lead after edging out their opponents 1-0 in the first leg.

Moyagolele, after a sloppy start, have found their feet as they are unbeaten in the last four games while Tse Nala have won once and lost four of their last five games.



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