Mochudi Centre Chiefs picked the perfect occasion to send a chilling reminder to their title rivals with a breathtaking 3-2 win over traditional rivals and defending champions, Township Rollers on Saturday.
Appearing like lambs to the slaughter in the build up to the Botswana derby, the Kgatleng side crafted the perfect response with a dizzying performance, disappointingly in front of a sparse crowd.
While Chiefs coach, Bongani Mafu got his tactics right, questions still linger over his Rollers’ counterpart, Mark Harrison’s decision to start with four wingers.
Joel Mogorosi, Edwin Moalosi, Motsholetsi Sikele and Lemponye Tshireletso found themselves in the same team while there was no space for regular goal scorers, Terrence Mandaza and Kekaetswe ‘Mara’ Moloi, who had to opt for the bench.
Moloi came in late as Rollers sought to retrieve what was fast appearing a lost cause, while Mandaza remained an unused substitute.
Harrison’s decision to stick with a three-man defense of Mogogi Gabonamong, Simisani Mathumo and Mosha Gaolaolwe for the high profile encounter, leaving out the versatile Tshepo ‘Talk Talk’ Motlhabankwe, a big game player, also raised a few eyebrows.
Chief pressed more in the first 30 minutes and were rewarded with a beautiful opener from man of the match, Thatayaone Ramatlapeng before further goals from Remmington Masuku and Dirang Moloi condemned Rollers to their second defeat of the season.
Rollers spent almost two-thirds of the game a man
In short, Chiefs were the more hungrier side, keen to erase bitter memories of a poor start, which had left them 11th on the log, trailing Rollers by six points. But they reduced that gap to three, although they still remain further from the top, after Orapa United profited from a bizarre slip from the chasing pack.
BDF XI, lost their unbeaten run when they went down to Black Forest on Sunday, meaning only Forest and Orapa have not lost a league match this season.
Orapa emerged as the weekend’s biggest winners after a 2-0 win over new boys, Mahalapye United Hotspurs saw they take charge at the top with a one point gap over Extension Gunners who are on 15 points.
Mapantsula were within victory sight in Lobatse only for a last gasp Sankoyo equaliser to cruelly throw the spanners in the works in a 1-1 draw.
Nico United, facing a bleak future, continued with their defiant performances after seeing off Police XI 2-1 away on Saturday.
Green Lovers, Police XI and Hotspurs occupy the bottom three spots as action approaches a third of the season.