FRANCISTOWN: Rookies, Calendar Stars’ second half jab was enough to increase Mahalapye United Hotspurs’ woes after a 1-0 victory here on Saturday.
The encounter played at the Francistown Stadium started at a snail’s pace. The two sides packed the midfield and the big numbers in the middle of the park made it almost impossible to connect more than three passes.
Calendar Stars found their rhythm after half an hour, but they were shut by a resolute Amahot defence. The only best chance of the half fell to Lovemore Murirwa, however he scampered his effort high and wide.Calendar Stars returned from the break enterprising but failed to take the initiative. They built well from the back but failed to pull the trigger when it mattered. Five minutes into the half, Mathogonolo Manko failed to pick the spot one-on-one with the goalkeeper and his tame shot was blocked by the stretched legs of the goalkeeper.
Moments after the hour mark, Oketsang Mochaina broke the deadlock. Murirwa received a poor headed clearance at the far end, he drove to the by-line and cut in a cross and, Mochaina pounced. It could have been two 10 minutes later when Murirwa pick-pocketed from a sluggish defender inside the box. The goalkeeper responded timely to block for a corner.
Substitute Gaolefufa Mosala also failed to profit in a one sided half when he hurriedly shot wide from inside
Boipuso Manyalo was happy with his side picking maximum points. The coach said they are targeting seven points in the last three encounters in the first round.
The 26-year-old Hotspurs coach, Wame Mokoke said they are a work in progress. He said they have lost a number of key figures after they relegated and their financial position has compounded problems. “It is difficult to work from this situation but we are coming up well. We are going through a rough patch but we will survive and with the improvement I believe we will come up a better team in the second round.”
Calendar Stars: Sesupo Reaname, Batshani Mafika, Keabetswe Matote, Gofaone Thankane, Maikano Macheng, Edmore Gukhwe, Oketsang Mochaina, Rebaone Motlhabane, Ofentse Lofu (Gaolefufa Mosala), Lovemore Murirwa, Matlhogonolo Manko (Olebogeng Sekani)
Hotspurs: Kago Mmopi, Stone Mpadi (Kabo Keletso), Onalenna Solomon, Mogomtsi Tlou, Koorapetse Baroma, Edwin Raditsebe, Gomolemo Jack, Mosimanegape Motsumi, Khumo Mabina, Barney Maiketso, Kgosietsile Thebe
Cautions: Thebe, Mochaina, Lufu
Calendar Stars 1 (Mochaina 64th)
United Hotspurs 0