SEROWE: Township Rollers flexed their muscles to break a determined Santa Green with a smart 3-0 win on Friday night before an impressive FA Cup crowd at the Serowe Sports Complex.
Rollers coach, Rodolfo Zapata took no chances against the minnows as he brought in a full squad led by Ofentse Nato at the back and Joel Mogorosi upfront.
“They are a good side. We studied them in their 5-1 league win and they deserve respect. We anticipated a tough game and they gave us a run for our money,” the Argentine said.
Three minutes into the game, Segolame Boy attempted a curler into the far left and the defender handled the ball. The referee pointed to the spot. Mogorosi sent the goalkeeper the wrong side from the resulting spot kick.
Tilly Setlhako responded with a great run into the box seconds later. Decision making let him down; he attempted a pass when he could have pulled the trigger.
The teams produced a back and forth affair although clear-cut chances came the Rollers way.
They had two corner kicks, a Wansididi Bibo near miss with a header and Mogorosi’s skied effort from the goalmouth.
The Greens had their cohorts standing when Amantle Motswetla set Onkokame Matsela up with a cushioned header in the 16-yards. The lone striker’s effort hit the upright.
Rollers calmed the tempo and decided to keep possession. Santa Green did not mind playing second fiddle. They sat, closed the pockets and sprang into attacks at every opportunity.
It took a trademark strike from Tumisang Orebonye in the dying minutes of the half to widen the deficit.
The Popa marksman received from 35 yards and stunned the Santa goalkeeper with a thunderbolt into the top right corner.
From the dugout
Orebonye set the unmarked Boy with a diagonal pass in the penalty area and he miscued his volley. Orebonye could have bagged a brace, but cushioned a pinpoint cross from Tshireletso inches over the crossbar.
Rollers held on to the ball but Santa was not to take the defeat lying down. They sweat blood to match the giants. They knocked at the Rollers end but lacked a scoring touch.
Goliath killed the minnows’ hopes with an excrutiating dagger at the death of the second half.
Orebonye posted a cross to Tshireletso on the blindsight. He took a power packed half volley towards the far corner and the defenders attempted clearance ended in his own net.
Santa Green coach, Kabelo Sephatla bemoaned a mistaken penalty call. He said it worked them out.
“It was hard to recover from the official’s mistake. The ball was handled but outside the box. We took time trying to recover but we played well,” he said.
Santa Green: Molosiwa Kgalalo, Goitsemang Monnathebe(Nonofo Seme), Phenyo Tebagano, Thatayaone Mampadi, Gofamodimo Samuel, Anthony Mongwato, Phakedi Mandla, Tillie Setlhako, Onkokame Matsela(Thato Moganana), Amantle Motswetla, Bonang Theetso
Rollers: Keeagile Kgosipula, Motsholetsi Sikele, Ofentse Nato, Kaone Van der Westhuizen, Thatayaone Dithokwe (Onkarabile Ratanang), Maano Ditshupo, Tumisang Orebonye, Segolame Boy, Lemponye Tshireletso, Bindu Wansididi Bibo (Mothusi Cooper ), Joel Mogorosi
Cautions: Matsela, Motswetla, Kgosipula,
Santa Green 0
Rollers 3 (Mogorosi 4th, Orebonye 45th, Mampadi 89th)