This season’s edition of Mascom Top 8 will kick-off tonight with teams chasing the more than mouthwatering P1.3 million at stake.
Held under the tagline ‘DzoDuza’ or ‘Dia Ntsha’, teams will attempt to set new records. Three first leg ties will be played over the weekend, with Black Forest and Township Rollers tie moved to next Friday.
Former champions, Orapa United and BDF XI, get the ball rolling tonight, in their quest to equal Rollers and Gaborone United’s (GU) record of winning the cup twice.
Ostriches’ head coach, Mogomotsi Mpote is aiming for his third title after winning two with Township Rollers as an assistant coach.
Orapa United halted Mpote’s last attempt while he was serving as Rollers’ interim coach in 2016. Mpote is in line to become the first local coach to win the cup.
Under Mpote, the Ostriches are yet to lose a game and have conceded a single goal in three games.
The Boteti-based side are hunting for a record fourth consecutive final appearance. However, they face a very stubborn BDF XI side, just like their opponents, Matebele have only lost once this season boasting one of the best defensive records, after conceding six goals.
The Army Boys have, however, been unlucky in the past three seasons and they have not gone past the semi-final stage.
The last time BDF XI went to the final, they won the cup and will be looking to be the second side to make it two titles in two finals. On Saturday afternoon, GU who remain the only team with a 100% record in the Mascom Top 8 final, will be gunning for a third title as they play Miscellaneous in Serowe. They are
Moyagoleele are hanging their hopes of silverware on this cup and will be high in confidence as they are under the tutelage of Phillimon Makhwengwe. The tactician delivered the Coca-Cola cup in 2009 when he served as interim coach with the Reds. Tse Nala are competing in the tournament for the third time and will be looking to break the club record by going past the quarterfinal stage for the first time.
In the last quarterfinal to be played on Sunday afternoon at the Galaxy Stadium, tournament debutants Sharps Shooting Stars will be looking to emulate Galaxy and Orapa United to be the third side to win the cup on their first attempt.
Stars of Excellence will face their perpetual tormentors away, which come as a boost for Galaxy who are eyeing a second cup victory. Galaxy have not lost a game in the past three meetings against Sharps.
This season, the competition’s organisers have stated the importance of attracting fans to the stadium after recording shocking turnouts in the last season.
The first leg of the quarterfinals last year attracted just 4,500 spectators in four games, an average of 1,125 fans per game.
Previous seven finals
2011/12: Township Rollers
3-1 ECCO City Greens
2012/13: Gaborone United
2-1 BDF XI
2013/14: BDF XI 1-1
(aet; 5-4 penalties) Township Rollers
2014/15: Gaborone United
2-1 Township Rollers
2015/16: Orapa United
3-1 (aet) Township Rollers
2016/17: Jwaneng Galaxy
4-3 (aet) Orapa United
2017/18: Township Rollers
4-2 Orapa United