Mochudi Centre Chiefs ended Township Rollers’ five games winning streak as the two sides played to a 1-1 draw on a windy Saturday evening at the UB Stadium. Rollers came into the game looking to extend their winning run to six games while Chiefs were looking for the second win of the season after a slow start.
It was Popa’s first game after parting ways with coach, Nikola Kavazovic. Zimbabwean trio of Philani Mabhena, Morris Ruzivo and Terrence Mandaza made their debuts with the Kgatleng giants while Thabo Motang led the Rollers team.
Rollers winger, Lemponye Tshireletso started on the bench for the first time in this campaign after being sidelined by the departed coach.
The game started 30 minutes late, with hundreds of fans still stranded outside the stadium due to shortage of match tickets. Three minutes into the game, Tumisang Orebonye sneaked behind the Chiefs’ defence but was let down by poor finishing before Chiefs’ Onalenna Molelekwa tried Wagarre Dikago from outside the box. Dikago calmly collected.
On the break, wingback Motsholetsi Sikele found Joel Mogorosi in the box.
The striker’s initial header was parried back into play by the goalkeeper, but his follow up went over the post. Magosi then broke the dead lock in the 24th minute with Arnold Mampori beautifully placing a free kick to the top far corner leaving Dikago motionless.
The Blues were quick to reply within two minutes.
They found the equaliser through Kago Monyake’s deflected long-range effort. In the 36th minute, Unobatsha Mbaiwa found Ruzivo with a through ball but the latter skied his effort just in front of the goal. The teams went into the break at 1-1.
Ten minutes after
For the majority of the second half, neither side took the game by its grip much to the frustration of fans who filled the venue to full capacity.
Morogosi had a chance to put his side in the 63rd minute but his effort was saved. With 10 minutes to time, Rusivo had another chance at goal, but the Popa defence was quick to clear the ball as the two sides shared spoils on the evening.
“The pitch condition and the wind played a vital role in the way we played, and we faced a team that was always eager to release the ball.
Constructing our normal play was difficult in such circumstances. At half time I told the players to play quick passes but again we were not able to get the passing movement going. In the circumstances we will take the point,” Motang said after the match.
Chiefs: Siamang Kgosipula, Molelekwa, Edwin Olerile, Moabi Sebele, Elvis Meleka, Mampori, Ruzivo, Mandaza, Lebopo Moremi (Koketso Mokgatitswane), Mbaiwa, Bakang Leshona
Rollers: Dikago, Sikele (Ivan Ntenge), Mosha Gaolaolwe, Simisane Mathumo, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Maano Ditshupo, Mothusi Cooper, Monyake (Tshireletso), Segolame Boy, Orebonye (Kamohelo Matsabu), Mogorosi
Cautions: Olerile, Orebonye
Chiefs 1 (Mampori 24th)
Rollers 1 (Monyake 26th)