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TAFIC Leapfrog Wanderers

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
TAFIC returned to the top of the Debswana First Division North league over the weekend
PALAPYE: TAFIC are back at the summit of the Debswana First Division North league table after they crushed Calendar Stars 4-0 while bottom-placed Real Movers stunned Wanderers 3-1 in a separate game.

Matjimenyenga sent an unblemished statement of intent when they demolished cross-town rivals, Calendar, with a brace each from Upoga Dakesha and Mogomotsi Samson. TAFIC are now two points clear of Wanderers with three matches left to the end of the league.

Wanderers’ title pursuit was dealt a blow by Thuso Leposo’s two goals in the opening 20 minutes and a piercing dagger from Morebodi Moeti.

Gosaitse Manuel saved his side some blushes with a solitary goal from the penalty spot in the second stanza.

Movers remain stuck at the bottom of the log table, despite the phenomenal win which saw the Selebi- Phikwe side register their second win in 19 matches of the season. In Pilikwe, Palapye All Stars battle to escape the relegation axe suffered a blow when they lost 2-1 to Sua Flamingoes in what could be defined as a one-sided encounter.

All Stars coach, Garayi Ndlovu admitted their chances have been blown. He said his young charges give in when they are bundled, something he said they failed to cope with the entire season.

“We are always better in the opening half, but once the teams start  bulldozing my players, the players get intimidated and lose focus. We are building a team of youngsters under immense pressure. It would be difficult to survive as it is,” he said. Flamingoes were dominant in the encounter and created countless chances in the opening minutes. But their striking force, spearheaded by Tendai Nyamadzao lacked the sting.

After a persistent knock at the All Stars goal, winger ,Ngwako Ramokgathadi burst the dam on top of the half-hour mark, thanks to a poor marking by the All Stars defence. Mompati Sekwa posted a lazy cross into the box. It took a drop in front of a motionless defender and beat him, the unmarked Ramokgathadi pounced on the blind sight and coolly headed home.

All Stars would have felt hard done by the middleman

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in the dying minutes of the half. Kitso Dintwa took two Flamingoes centre backs for paces inside the box and he was bundled. The referee turned down their penalty appeal. Flamingoes picked up in the second stanza from where they left. They rained chances in the All Stars goals but failed to profit. It was the clinical Ramokgathadi who found the net to register a brace 13 minutes from the break.

Midfielder Ogomoditse Bauleni posted a cross-field pass to the right side of the All Stars 18-yard box to pick a Nyamadzao run. The defender miscued an attempted clearance. The ball fell for Ramokgathadi inside the box, and he calmly slotted at the bottom right corner.

It could have been three five minutes later. With his first touch, substitute Thabiso Bante saw his goal-bound screamer from 40 yards finger tipped for a corner. Bante wasted a glorious chance when he skied from a goalmouth against an empty net after a neat lay-off from Ramokgathadi in the 77th minute. All Stars pulled one back in the 88th minute when the Flamingoes defence was caught napping. Barulaganye Tapiso posted a long ball into the box and Brian Gabathokwe’s flick was enough to beat the goalkeeper.

Flamingoes managed to control the last minutes and took the game to bed. Their coach, Kemmonye Alijah said they had not given up on the promotion battle despite a nine points deficit.

“We are expecting a lot to happen in the final games, and all we can do is to maintain our momentum. We are focussed on winning all our games and maybe we could profit at the end. The chase is not over,” he said.

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