PILIKWE: Morupule Wanderers who secured the playoffs berth three weeks ago finished the league with a 2-1 derby defeat at the hands of rivals, Motlakase Power Dynamos, but their assistant coach Pule Mogotsi claimed it was nothing to worry about.
He said although they would have liked to win, they used the game as the beginning of the preparations for the playoffs.
“Unfortunately the result did not go our way, but we will take only the positives from this match,” Mogotsi said.He said they employed a second string side in the derby match.
Mogotsi said for a long time as chasers, his side played without pressure.
“I think we played better football today more than we did the rest of the season. We had good ball retention against a strong willed opponent and we also had better chances.”
“It is the beginning of the journey to the playoffs. It was an important game to improve the confidence of some of the players we have not used much in the season,” he said. The match had all the hallmarks of a practise match. The crowd was paltry and the encounter lacked emotions of the derby it usually is.
Motlakase was the first to pose a threat with Onkemetse Oitsile. The midfielder saw his quarter hour header from the 16-yards rattle the crossbar.
Chouka took the lead on the hour mark when Samuel Makgoro dribbled his marker to the byline and picked Jabu Mpoeleng with a diagonal pass and the nippy attacker headed home.
Thapelo Chabalala levelled matters four minutes later when he redirected Ghalisano Johane’s timely cross into the net with a cooly header.
In quick succession after back and forth attacks Chouka took the lead with Gabatlhomphe Tsheko in the 37th minute.
Wanderers responded with a quick series of chances after Chouka took the lead. Makgoro saw his 38th minute effort rattle the bar.
After a great combination in the middle of the park Katlego Ralegoreng sent Mpoeleng against the goalkeeper, but the latter’s loft went agonisingly over the bar.
In the last minute of the half, Ralegoreng picked Makgoro with a pinpoint cross in the 16-yards, but the attacker’s connection went over the bar.
Chouka was content with the lead and played the entire second half at a snail’s pace. They left Chabalala upfront as a lone strikers and closed the pockets for their opponents.
Wanderers played to Chouka’s game. They knocked the ball around the park and lacked creativity to unlock the Chouka defence.
They had a penalty in the 56th minute when the defender fouled Makgoro.
Mpoeleng stood up, but Badisa Mpote picked the right side and denied the attacker a brace. Wanderers brought in two key players in Thabo Wetshoemang and Kgololo Kgogobi, but Motlakase closed shop and winded the clock down to secure a win.
Chouka’s coach Mothusi Seditse was pleased. “To us this was a game we had to win. We turned around our season and it was important we finished in the top eight. We have a good squad that we should now ensure we hold onto for the coming season and we can compete,” he said.