Kgatleng outfit, Mochudi Centre Chiefs maintained their poor run of form since the departure of veteran coach, Oris Radipotsane when they lost 2-0 to Red Sparks during an entertaining game at Jamali Stadium on Saturday evening.
Two goals from Donald Rapulana and Kabelo Babusi in each half handed the Tlokweng side its first win in five games while Chiefs registered third consecutive loss in the league.
The game started at a high pace from the start with both teams looking to get the opener. Chiefs, with big names such as former Zebras player, Jomo Moatlhaping, Terence Mandaza and Thato Bolweleng seemed first to settle but could not create any chances.
However, it was Red Sparks who drew first blood when Rapulana met a beautiful cross to put his team ahead in the 34th minute. The goal seemed to boost the home side as they started enjoying possession.
Chiefs also started pushing as they were chasing the game, but poor decision-making from the midfielders often let them down. Red Sparks were the happier side going into half time leading 1-0. After the break, Chiefs started pilling pressure looking for an equaliser with Mandaza squandering a big chance inside the box before he was adjudged to have handled the ball.
Chiefs yet again failed to equalise in the 25th minute when Maatla Magosha shot over the bar with the net at his mercy following a blunder by the goalkeeper. This big chance summed up Chiefs’ bad night with team failing to connect in the final third thereafter.
Red Sparks scored the second goal against the run of play after experienced Chiefs defender, Trinity Nko made an error when he tried to dribble past Badisa. The lanky striker made no mistake as he coolly put the ball past Otsile Ben in Chiefs goal. After the
“I think we played a very disciplined game today. Defensively, we were very organised. We scored a well-worked goal. From there, they put us under a lot of pressure but we managed to deal with them defensively,” he said. Nthaga said they knew Chiefs use a lot of width because of the aerial advantage they have in Moatlhaping and Mandaza but his players managed to cut their supply. He said their aim is to sustain the team’s status in league.
His counterpart Ellias Chinyemba said his team failed to play to its strength.
“We saw that this team was hitting long balls and winning the second ball, so I told the boys to start the ball at the back and engage the midfielders so that we go wide and bring in quality balls into the box. But we failed to do that,” said Chinyemba.
He said while his team has experienced players, it lacks depth. “Once we put in 11 players, we don’t have depth on the bench. Every position on the field should have at least two players competing. We have to bring in 12 to 13 players in January,” he added.
Chiefs: Ben, Bolweleng, Oarabile Matlapeng (Keorapetse Kgathatsa), Modiri Mbise, Nko, Mmoloki Kafuko,Lebogang Jabari, Magosha, Mandaza, Moatlhaping, King Mokgatlhane (Koketso Mphokothi)
Red Sparks: Godwin Dubulu, Onkabetse Nkwe, Kgosietsile Mompati, Rapulana, Mpho Ramotoroko, Othusitse Molako, Kgotlaetsile Gopolang, Kagiso Mokaeya, Kgotla Dikomang, Babusi, Phenyo Magosi
Red Sparks 2 (Rapulana 34th, Babusi 74th)