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Komphela in attendance as Rollers reach semis

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
Gaolaolwe (right) has attracted Chiefs interest PIC: CHRISTINAH MOTLHABANE
Despite two big guns, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United (GU) crashing out of the Mascom Top 8, the tournament did not produce further surprises. On Monday night, watched by Kaizer Chiefs coach, Steve Komphela, Township Rollers joined Jwaneng Galaxy, BDF XI and defending champions, Orapa United in the last four.

The draw for the semi-final is scheduled for January.

 Police XI and GU were both thrown out at the same stage by the same teams last season. Courtesy of their position eight finish in the league, Police XI met Rollers for the second season running in the quarterfinals. The previous year they lost 4-3 on aggregate. This time they were outclassed and crashed out with a 3-0 aggregate.

The Jungle Kings have been going through a rough patch since the start of the season with only one victory thus far.

The knockout competition seems to have come at a wrong time for Police XI who have in the past always given Rollers a tough time. On Monday, they needed to win by a goal in normal time to force the game into extra time. However, they failed to get that early goal and the two sides went into half time with the second leg score line still goalless.

In the second half, Rollers made things difficult for the Jungle Kings when Lemponye Tshireletso opened the score, before Edwin Moalosi’s goal put the game beyond Police XI’s reach. The victory came as a relief for Rollers who also still seem to be struggling to hit top gear this season.

The game attracted Kaizer Chiefs officials amongst them coach, Steve Komphela and manager, Bobby Motaung who are said to be here to scout for players. Defender Mosha Gaolaolwe and Segolame Boy are said to be constantly monitored by the Soweto giants. The two teams recently played a friendly match against each other in South Africa.

GU

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like Police XI also found themselves locked up against the same opponents (BDF XI) like last season at the same stage.

Not surprisingly so, they are out of the competition with a 4-2 aggregate. The Reds have faced a difficult time during the pre-season with investor, Nicholas Zakhem leaving because of the internal bickering amongst some members of the club and the current executive committee.

This resulted in poor preparations for the season and coach Rodolfo Zapata has now been forced to work with what is at his disposal. They have looked toothless upfront despite playing some promising brand of football.

It was always going to be a difficult task scoring more than two goals against a stubborn BDF XI defence. The departure of Namibian striker, Benson Shilongo has left a big void upfront. Zapata has already tried three different players, Tumisang Orebonye, Hendrick Moyo and Moatlhodi Ralesotla in that role but they have so far failed to rescue the situation.

 Chiefs like GU’s elimination was not surprising considering the difficult times they faced in the pre-season as well. Like GU, Chiefs lost their investor and failed to register any notable key players despite losing Lemponye Tshireletso and Tendai Nyumasi.

Against a strongly assembled side, Galaxy, chances of progressing to the next stage were slim. Failure to register Jerome Ramatlhakwana made matters worse with Stanley Ngala still struggling to adapt.

However, the performance of Miscellaneous in the knockout tournament was refreshing despite their failure to progress to the next stage. They lost to the defending champions through the away goal rule.



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