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Tenacious Highlanders Edge Lions

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
SEROWE: BR Highlanders were on full throttle and ensured Gilport Lions did not catch a breather in a high octane 1-0 win on Saturday night at the Serowe Sport Complex.

The Mahalapye giants started the game like a house on fire and pressed Lions into their half. They held on to the tempo the entire half such that their goalkeeper was almost on a holiday. Lions failed to challenge the opposing goals and even failed to register a single short on target.

Their assistant coach, Mopholosi Reaitsanye who stood in for the absent Paradzayi Mandivenga downplayed their porous first half display to fatigue. “We tried to manage energy levels after a hectic schedule in the past week. The boys are fatigued,” he said.

Highlanders showed no sign of fatigue the entire 90 minutes. They ran riot creating numerous chances in the opening half and did not shy from shooting from range. They had the Lions goalkeeper on toes and forced him into great saves.

Their solitary goal however came in the second stanza. Seven minutes into the half, Kealeboga Oitsile beat Tshepo Motlhabankwe and laid a splitting pass to Lynoth Chikuhwa. The striker dribbled past the goalkeeper and hurriedly shot wide against an open goal.

A minute later, Oitsile slid past his marker into the box and Tumisang Sekanonyane manhandled him. The referee pointed to the spot. Leteng Legopelo coolly buried the spot kick.

Highlanders unfurled yet another neat move

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down the left wing. After a series of interchanges, Bame Morwalela held the ball in the box and delicately set up Thabang Mooketsi, the latter’s grass cutter slid inches outside the upright.

When the half grew older, Lions went in search of an equaliser. Highlanders were however disciplined at the back. They shut all paths and protected their goalkeeper majestically.

The nearest Lions came to scoring was through Gape Mohutshiwa’s towering header that however went straight into the goalkeeper’s gloves.

In the 83rd minute Sekanonyane was denied by the upright. Five minutes later, he received a pass alone in the blind sight. He had all the time but failed to compose himself and shot wide.

Highlanders’ coach was happy with the result. “It’s an important win for us against a very determined Gilport. We could have done better but three points and a clean sheet is what we really needed.”

The teams:

Highlanders: Michael Pepukani, Mompati Oabile, Thabang Mooketsi, Emmanuel Sekwena, Keabetswe Obonetse, Legopelo, Boikobo Osupile (Onkarabile Tsheko),  Oitsile (Brian Kobe), Morwalela, Chikuhwa, Tumelo Mazebedi (Motse)

Gilport Lions: Edwin Mokibe, Tshepo Rahenngwa, Lone Taele, Sekanonyane, Motlhabankwe, Mohutsiwa, Bamba Maliwa (Olangi Otema), Lebogang Sentsho (Musa Tamokate), Serati Semadi, Kevi Bulala, Karabo Sebeo (Tshephang Molefhe)

Cautions: Sekwena

Highlanders 1 (Legopelo Pen 53rd)

Gilport Lions 0



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