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Chiefs, Nico face testing 16 minutes

MQONDISI DUBE
Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Nico United face a tricky 16 minute examination at the Molepolole Sports Complex this afternoon as they complete their abandoned Top 8 duel. Kick-off is 4:00 pm.

The match was halted after 74 minutes two weeks ago due to power failure with Chiefs leading 1-0 on the night but still trailing 3-1 on aggregate.

Forgotten winger, David Makakaba had given Mike Sithole’s side the lead. Nico won the first leg 3-0 with a hat trick from Richard Legwaila.

The unusual finish will test both sides’ technical benches with a lot hinging on what will transpire in the first five minutes. An early Nico equaliser will surely kill the contest while a quick Chiefs second will ensure a nervy end. Both sides have had a poor league run with Chiefs succumbing to a Patrick Lenyeletse sucker punch in a 2-1 defeat to Orapa United on Sunday while Nico lost by a similar score line to struggling BR Highlanders.

The two sides will therefore channel their energy to the knock-out competition in a bid to compensate their stuttering start to the season.

Nico assistant coach, Blue Same said they will hope to catch their hosts

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on the counter.

“We will go out to defend what we have. We know they will come at us in full force. But we already have something in hand. We hope to catch them on the counter,” Same said.

Nico’s camp resembles a hospital ward with mercurial midfielder, Gift Moyo, Khumoetsile Kufigwa, Mponang Mponang, Trinity Nko and Mogomotsi Mokoka all out injured. However, Same is confident the Selebi-Phikwe side has enough arsenal to fire them through to the semi-finals of the country’s only knock-out competition.

Chiefs’ tormentor in the first leg, Legwaila is expected to lead the charge together with captain, Monametsi ‘Sunday’ Kelebale.

Sithole’s side will look to Lesego Galenamothale and Pontso Moloi to salvage the tie. Efforts to get comment from Chiefs officials proved futile at press time.

Joshua Bondo, who handled the first 74 minutes, will be in the middle this afternoon and tickets from the first match are valid. Rollers, BDF XI and Gaborone United are already through to the semi-finals.



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