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Notwane, Rollers bemoan bad pitch after dull draw

Notwane, Rollers bemoan bad pitch after dull draw PIC. MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Township Rollers and Notwane met at the National Stadium on Wednesday evening in Gaborone's oldest derby, but the two teams bemoaned the state of the pitch after a flat draw.

Despite the hype before the kick off, the match did not live up to expectations as the two teams played a dull goalless draw.

The two sides managed just three shots on target in the entire 90 minutes, as neither side failed to get a grip of the game. The National Stadium had taken a beating following the AUSC Region V games that ended over the weekend and the two coaches blamed the drab draw on the state of the pitch. Speaking to journalists after the game, Rollers' interim coach, Thabo Motang said his troops could not execute the game on the night due to the dumpy pitch.

"We played well despite the pitch challenges. We had problems with the pitch.

We played well yes, we got a point and we are still number one, I am happy. The intention, however, was to get the three points. When you are number one, you are closely monitored, so different teams come with different approaches to you. We have to try by all means to adjust, which we did, but unfortunately we had a challenge with the pitch. Our identity is to play the ball on the ground, but we failed to because the pitch was so bumpy," he said. 

His counterpart, Notwane's Davis Kopi shared the same sentiments, but felt his

side deserved more from the game. "We wanted to make sure Rollers did not play in midfield, forced them to play to their back too and it worked.  They are not a big team, they are just like another team in the league. We prepared for them well, but we could not get the maximum points.  Our strength is to dwell much on possession football, but the ground was not conducive to play. It was a very bad pitch," he said.

It was Rollers who had a first sight at goal as early as the fifth-minute. Kamogelo Matsabu turned the Notwane defense inside out and laid to Joel Mogorosi whose effort went over. Lesego Lubinda hit the side net in the 31st-minute before Michael Pepukani fisted over Motsholetsi Sikele's long range shot 10 minutes later. Just before the break, Wagarre Dikago superbly denied Amos Godirwang as he parried the shot over the bar. The second half did not produce any sparks but it was the league champions who had better chances at a goal.

The game brought down the curtain on the first round of the BTC Premiership and leaves Popa at the top of the log, four points ahead of second placed Orapa United while Notwane are in the 10th spot with 18 points.




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