Township Rollers reached the group stages of the CAF Champions League for the first time after edging Tanzanian side, Young Africans 2-1 on aggregate.
The two teams played to a goalless draw in the second leg of the second round played at the National Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Popa’s 2-1 win in the first leg played a week ago in Tanzania helped them become the first local side to reach the group stages of the club continental competition.
Playing in front of a near-to-capacity crowd, Rollers’ chances of advancing to the next stage were never under threat on the afternoon as the visitors only had two chances at goal in the match while the local boys squandered a number of goal-scoring opportunities.
Rollers dominated the proceedings from the first minute and were nearly rewarded in the 11th, but Joel Mogorosi failed to direct his header and hit the cross bar. In the 31st minute, Mosha Gaolaolwe missed yet another chance; the ball fell unto him after a scramble in the box, but the defender shot wide while having the easiest chance to put the ball in the back of the net. Six minutes later, the referee ruled a foul by Obrey Chirwa on Gaolaolwe. An altercation broke out between the visitors’ technical team and the match officials resulting in both the team’s captain, Patrick Yondani and coach, George Lwandamina, receiving cautions. Popa nearly broke the deadlock with two minutes to the break. Segolame Boy showed some quick feet to beat his marker, but only shot wide of the
Popa continued where they left off after the break, but missed two chances inside the first 10 minutes. Motsholetsi Sikele was let down by poor decision-making inside the box as he shot wide in the 49th minute while Lemponye Tshireletso’s shot was parried for a corner five minutes later.
In the 70th minute, after an enterprising counterattack by Yanga, Chirwa could not score the goal as he hit the side net. With both sides looking for a goal, Mogorosi missed a glaring opportunity inside the box as he shot wide in the 72nd minute. With six minutes to time, Yanga assistant coach, Shadrack Nsajigwa was sent to the stands after breaking the technical area rules in what was the last action of the goalless draw.
Rollers: Keeagile Kgosipula, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Simisane Mathumo, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Edwin Olerile, Maano Ditshupo, Lemponye Tshireletso Ntesang Simanyana), Segolame Boy, Motsholetsi Sikele (Boyo Lechaena), Edwin Moalosi, Joel Mogorosi (Ivan Ntenge)
Yanga: Rostand Jehu, Kabamba Tshishimbi, Obrey Chirwa, Pius Busitwa (Hassan Mahadhi), Patrick Yondani, Michael Kamusoko (Ibrahim Migomba), Vincent Chikupe, Said Ali, Yusuf Mhilu (Geoffrey Mwashiuya), Abdala Mnyamani, Michael Kamagi
Cautions: Moalosi, Ali, Yondani, Tshishimbi, Chikupe, Chirwa