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Four vie for Top 8 final berth

KABELO BORANABI
Two spots for Mascom Top 8 final are up for grabs as the semi-finals of the knockout tournament reach the business end over the weekend.

The quartet of Jwaneng Galaxy, Orapa United, BDF XI and Township Rollers are fighting for the two places at stake. 

Champions, Galaxy travel to Itekeng Stadium for a showdown with United on Saturday afternoon. The first leg fixture ended level at 1-1 with Ostriches carrying the all-important away goal to the second leg.

Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote’s side has conceded just 14 goals in all competitions. They have let in five goals at home, but are yet to concede at their Itekeng ground in this year’s edition of the Top 8.  The midfield trio of Lawrence Ndunga, Abdullah Hamisi Raziki and Tapiwa Nyamanjiva is expected to play a vital role over the weekend.

They are a compact midfield, with eye for a pass and get in to the score sheet. With captain Thabang Mosige back in the team after a long injury lay off, United’s guard looks tougher than before.

Galaxy on the other hand, possess a good attack, with Patrick Kaunda, Tebogo Sembowa and Takunda Sadiki, as ready options. It is, however, Thero Setsile and Atisang Batsi who are tasked with taking on the Orapa defence in the afternoon.  Setsile has scored three goals in the four games since returning to the team in January, with one of his goals in the first leg of the hard-fought semifinals against United.  Batsi has been a stand-out player for the Miguel da Costa’s side with a goal in the cup.

It remains to be seen if Galaxy, who have been free-scoring

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this season with 37 goals in 20 games, would have what it takes to break down the stubborn United defence.

However, in the Top 8, Galaxy have only managed to find the back of the net just twice in three games while conceding as many.

On Sunday afternoon, BDF XI host Rollers at the Lobatse Sports Complex. Rollers walked away 3-1 winners when they hosted the army side in the first leg a fortnight ago. Matebele did not pose much of a threat to Popa, but could pull a surprise on Sunday afternoon.

A 2-0 win gives them a spot in the final and coach Letang ‘Rasta’ Kgengwenyane has abundance of talent in his ranks.  Keeagile Kobe would look to continue his impressive form while Under-20 striker, Godfrey Tauyatsalwa could make a start after good showing this season.

Simphiwe Matlala has one goal in the tournament and would be hungry to add more. 

Matebele face a wounded lion in Rollers after Frank Nuttall tasted his first defeat as Popa coach last weekend, losing 2-1 to Gilport Lions whose win moved them out of the relegation zone.

Popa are the highest scoring team in this season’s edition of the cup, after finding the net seven times in three games while conceding once.

The team welcomes defenders, Simisane Mathumo and Jackson Lesole from injury lay offs while Tumisang Orebonye is expected to start after missing the last weekend’s encounter.

The striker is the leading scorer in the competition with two goals.



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