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GU, BDF XI eye Cup upsets

KABELO BORANABI
GU and Rollers meet in the second leg PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The remaining four sides will battle it out for places in the eighth edition of the Mascom Top 8 final, as the second leg of the semifinals are played over the weekend.

Defending champions, Township Rollers and Jwaneng Galaxy did themselves favours, after winning the first leg ties.

Popa will be away to cross town rivals, Gaborone United (GU) on a Saturday afternoon clash at the National Stadium.  The Blues won the first leg 2-0 leaving the Reds with a mountain to climb, in order to overturn the score line. Moyagoleele face a Rollers side that has not lost a domestic game since November last year, making it seven games unbeaten.

The Money Machine on the other hand have been inconsistent this season, but are on the back of morale boosting 3-1 win over Orapa United in a league game played last weekend. GU’s coach, Phillimon Makhwengwe is unfazed by the threat of his opponents, but bemoaned pre-match antics ahead of the clash.

“Whenever I play a certain team, a certain brand I always get a red card. It happened last weekend, Tshepo Maikano was red carded and I was expecting that, it was always going to happen. It is not going to be easy, we are chasing the game. We have to be compact and very cautious; they scored two goals at home. This weekend we will be home, why can’t we also score two goals? I’m under pressure to win. First of all, we are trailing, secondly is the pitch we are playing on”, he said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

Zambian striker, Jasper Masialeti is in line to make his debut for the Reds giving options to a strike force that includes Patrick Kabamba, Bophelo Oaitse and veteran, Jerome Ramatlhakwana.
Rollers’ coach, Rodolfo Zapata is on course for a personal milestone to reach his maiden cup final since his arrival in Botswana three years ago. But he said it would not come sweeter than at the expense of his former side. “It is a very emotional game personally for me, a mixture of emotions. I have worked with

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GU for two years, I have good memories with players but I want to win, I always want to win. I am under pressure to reach the final, but I enjoy every minute of it because I believe in my players,” he said.

On Sunday afternoon, BDF XI welcome Jwaneng Galaxy at the Lobatse Sports Complex. The visitors carry a 1-0 lead into the game and have been threatening in front goal after remaining unbeaten in the last 11 games. Galaxy remains the only side not to concede in this season’s competition as they eye their second cup final appearance. “I believe BDF XI will be open this time around. In the first leg, they were cautious from the first minute. It is understandable because they were away.

They will be home now and they are trailing, they should open their play and that’s how we would want them to play us,” Galaxy’s assistant coach, Modiri Marumo said. The team is boosted by the return of top goal scorer, Thero Setsile after a failed move to South Africa.

BDF XI’s assistant coach, Louis Setshwane said his side is hungry to reach the final, a feat the team last achieved in 2013 when they won the cup. “It’s high time we reached the cup final. We should impress our bosses and supporters. As for Galaxy, we have been assessing them since the first leg, as to how they play, how they score and concede. We have been preparing for this game since the first leg, we used our league games as preparatory games,” he said.

 

Previous seven finals:

 

2011-2012:      Township Rollers        3-1       ECCO City Greens

2012-2013:      Gaborone United        2-1       BDF XI

2013-2014:      BDF XI           1-1       (5-4 penalties)                                                             Township Rollers

2014-2015:      Gaborone United        2-1       Township Rollers

2015-2016:      Orapa United  3-1       Township Rollers

2016-2017:      Jwaneng Galaxy          4-3       Orapa United

2017-2018:      Township Rollers        4-2       Orapa United



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