PILIKWE: Two quick fire Morupule Wanderers goals were enough to book a BTC Premiership seat for the Palapye side, after defeating Jwaneng Fighters 4-2 on aggregate in the promotion play-offs.
Wanderers shocked Fighters 2-0 away in Jwaneng a week ago and scored twice in the two-all draw before a packed Pilikwe Ground on Saturday.
Wanderers’ intentions were visible from the onset. Tebogo Moroka rattled the crossbar with a 22nd minute half volley from the 20 yards. Moments later, Kgololo Kgogobi had his goal-bound effort blocked by flying bodies of defenders in the box. Wanderers’ persistence yielded results two minutes before the half-hour mark. Kgogobi pinpointed Katlego Mpoeleng with a curled cross and the nippy attacker headed home.
Master Masitara made it 2-0 a minute later. He sent Kgogobi with a through pass into the box. Instead of pulling the trigger, Kgogobi held and rolled back onto the Zimbabwen’s path and the deadly marksman finished clinically.
Fighters fashioned a fight back but were not clinical. Kago Keotlogele drilled a 40-yards piledriver that the Wanderers goalkeeper parried onto the path of the Fighters attackers. They lacked pace and the defence recovered to clear.
Wanderers calmed their attacks and closed all pockets to take the healthy lead to the break. From the dugout Fighters went for the jugular. They left three flat defenders behind and committed a lot of bodies high forward.
They controlled possession and four minutes into the half, they scored. Kemo Pumkin produced a wonder volley from 35 yards to beat a rooted Ontiretse Kolobe at the top left corner.
As shadows grew tall, the hosts increased
They sat deep, repelled attacks and made their opponents toil. Fighters won a couple of corners, but the defence was unrelenting.
Comfort Dikupa nearly handed the visitors an own goal when he deflected a free kick the wrong side of his goalkeeper, but the midfielder reacted quickly to clear off the line and spare himself the blushes.
Fighters’ fate was sealed when none of the teammates bothered to celebrate after substitute Goareng Bagale bagged an equaliser at the death.
Wanderers coach, Boyo Radipotsane said his players became complacent after scoring two goals. He said, however, their Premiership destiny was long sealed in the first leg.
“My boys ended the game after scoring the second goal and played their own game, but in all we came here to wrap up and I am happy we achieved our season’s goals,” he said. His Fighters counterpart, Andrew Tlou bemoaned poor officiating. He congratulated his opponents and said they would go back and fight again in the First Division.
Wanderers: Ontiretse Kolobe, Thopho Motheng, Kelepile Terata, Tebogo Moroka, Tshepo Baipoledi, Tshephang Boithatelo, Katlego Ralegoreng (Thabo Wetshoemang), Comfort Dikupa, Master Masitara, Katlego Mpoeleng (Gosaitse Manuel), Kgololo Kgogobi
Jwaneng Fighters: Kabelo Tshamekang, Thabang Mokotedi, Bryan Bitsang (Goareng Bagale), Otlabusa Phekoyame, Mosimanegape Ngongorego, Boitumelo Mafoko, Kago Keotlogele, Richard Seakeng, Ontumetse Osupile (Oteng Mosala), Benjamin Maute, Kemo Pumkin
Cautions: Osupile, Seakeng, Boithatelo