SEROWE: Gaborone United (GU) prevailed 1-0 against Miscellaneous in the opening leg of the Mascom Top 8 quarterfinal thanks to Obonye Maome’s spot kick in a dull encounter played on Saturday in Serowe.
An attendance that was better than the paltry crowd that witnessed a similar meeting in the league a fortnight ago would argue that they did not get value for their money.
In the last meeting at the same venue, Miscellaneous produced a scintillating attacking football and GU were lucky to escape with maximum points in the 3-1 win.The Saturday display fell far short of the expectations of those who witnessed the league encounter.
The mood was promising at the beginning, but it instantly shrunk to an insipid display. Both teams showed less attacking intent and a scarcity of quality in the final third.
Goitseone Phoko denied Takunda Sadiki four minutes from the whistle in what was the only threatening chance of the opening half.
Sadiki forced the GU goalkeeper to make a save after he had pounced on Tshepo Maikano’s sloppy back pass.
GU’s first arrival at the other end and the only registered shot on target came 12 minutes from the start, credit to Maome’s 25 yards drive towards the bottom left, but Basimanebotlhe Moilwa had the post covered.
The two teams kept in the midfield but were aimless and lacked direction. GU coach Phillimon Makhwengwe responded with an early substitution of his midfielder, Bobby Ntshegisang for a more offensive Patrick Kabamba to bring action upfront, but the latter made less impact in the half.
“We were not playing according to our plan. Miscellaneous were sitting back and we needed to be in a more attacking mode,” he said when justifying the substitution.
From the halftime break the hosts had the first attempts, but Sadiki often lacked support in the GU area.
Unmarked Bhekuyise Kunene failed to connect when Sadiki had picked him with a pinpoint cross in the box; instead, he headed over the
Dirang Moloi, who is often United’s beacon of hope, was forced to drop deep to instigate movements.
He combined well with Karabo Setoutwe in the 73rd minute and Setoutwe’s close range shot was met with a remarkable save at the near post.
GU brought in Jackie Motlhatego and they looked more enterprising with Moloi and Motlhatego. In the 82nd minute, Moloi released Kabamba into the box but his effort was saved.
A minute later, Kabamba won his side a penalty when the Miscellaneous defender, Chicco Molefhe fouled him inside the box. Maome beat Moilwa at the top right corner to make it 1-0 in favour of GU.
Miscellaneous escaped what could have been a disastrous defeat when Motlhatlego’s nippy connection from a Maome corner kick went inches past the upright.
Tse Nala’s hope for an equaliser evaporated after their specialist, Molefhe skied a 30 yards free kick.
Coach Chippa Koolese said his team did not turn up for the match. He said, however, they were still in with a chance. “We failed to play. We played against our plan. We planned to attack, but we found ourselves sitting too deep. It’s 1-0 and it is still open, we can make amends,” he sad.
Makhwengwe said he had much respect for Miscellaneous, and they expected a tough encounter.
“It’s not a walk in the park to come here. Results are fought for and I am happy with the goal.”
Miscellaneous: Moilwa, Bokani Loeto, Molefe, Mponang Mponang, Thabo Mosielele, Simo Osupile, Chakova Moyenga, Mooketsi Gareonne (Eletsang Gaobatlelwe), Sadiki, Kunene, Atang Moramang (Kaelo Kgano)
GU: Phoko, Tshepo Maikano, Gasegonna Molapisi, Gaopatwe Seosenyeng, Godwin Bonsu, Alphonse Modisaotsile, Ogomoditse Bauleni (Motlhatego), Ntshekisang (Kabamba), Boipelo Oaitse (Setoutwe), Moloi, Maome