Jwaneng Galaxy moved back to the top of the BTC Premiership following a 3-0 demolition of relegation-threatened TAFIC on Wednesday, to set up what is increasingly becoming an enthralling title race.
Township Rollers had seized the back-and-forth initiative with a 2-0 victory over Mochudi Centre Chiefs last week.
But attempts to pull further away were pegged back by a 2-0 defeat to Orapa United on Easter Monday.
The defeat left Rollers on 49 points and presented second-placed Galaxy with a chance to go top when they met Matjimenyenga in Jwaneng on Wednesday.
Galaxy responded with a clinical display, which pushed them level on points with Popa, but ahead due to a superior goal difference.
With eight games to go, it is now a case of ‘you blink you lose’ as fans are in for a close finish, just what the local game needed. At some stage of the season, it had appeared Rollers were running away with the title, but defeats to Miscellaneous, BDF XI and recently, Orapa United, have allowed Galaxy ample time to draw level.
Rollers have the experience when the going gets tough, but Galaxy cannot be entirely discounted as they have tasted blood before, winning the Mascom Top 8 last season.
Popa might be distracted by their participation in the more demanding CAF Champions League, which could pave way for Galaxy to grab their first ever
Rollers face African giants, Al Ahly, Esperance and newsboys, Kampala City Council Authority in the group stages of the Champions League, and they hope this will not disrupt their domestic run. Last time when coach Nikola Kavazovic tried to rotate his side ahead of the Mascom Top 8 final, Rollers came unstuck, losing to BDF XI.
Galaxy have been on an impressive run since they suffered a 3-1 loss to BDF XI in February, going through March unbeaten.
With third and fourth-placed Miscellaneous and Orapa United a distant eight points behind and having played two more games, the race has been narrowed to just two sides.
The two teams have not met in the second round, with the fixture expected to decide where the league crown goes. The momentum is with Galaxy who have conceded just once in five matches, that goal coming back in February against Santos. Galaxy are unbeaten in the five matches while Rollers have lost twice.
Last five results
Galaxy 3-1 Santos, Galaxy 2-0 Forest, Galaxy 4-0 Gilport, Galaxy 3-0 Police XI Galaxy 3-0 TAFIC
Rollers 4-2 Police XI, Rollers 1-3 BDF XI, Rollers 2-0 Forest, Rollers 2-0 Chiefs, Rollers 0-2 Orapa