FRANCISTOWN: Premier League giants, Township Rollers stormed into the Orange FA Cup Last 16 following a dominant 6-0 victory against minnows, Tonota FC over the weekend.
Following the win, Rollers are now on course to clinch a domestic treble. The encounter, which attracted a notable number of supporters, was played at the old Francistown stadium.
To many pundits it was inevitable that Rollers would posit a sublime performance against Tonota, a struggler in the Debswana North First Division.
Going into the match, Rollers mentor Frank Nuttall also had little concern about his side’s sharpness. Rollers have been scoring goals and conceding less in recent weeks. Ahead of the Saturday clash, his side defeated TAFIC 4-1 in a league encounter.
The hosts were happy to sit back in the first half, and then counter-attack. Rollers grabbed the lead as early as the third minute when defensive midfielder, Ofentse Nato’s low ground shot from the edge of the box easily beat Tonota goalkeeper, Seete Keabetswe.
Tonota only had one notable chance to score in the match after striker, Mooketsi Natale made his way past a cluster of Township Rollers defenders before unleashing a very powerful shot. The visitors’ goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe parried the ball back into play. That was on the 17th minute.
Popa captain, Simisani Mathumo added to the Rollers lead in the 32nd minute with a neat tap-in following Onkarabile Ratanang’s well-taken corner.
Ratanang was the stand-out performer on Saturday with his influence felt all over the pitch. He finally got a reward for his hard work four minutes after the break
In the second half, there was still lack of urgency from Tonota and they were not too comfortable on the ball when in possession.
In the 60th minute, Rollers attacking midfielder Edwin Moalosi was fouled inside the goal area after a magnificent run. Moalosi stood up and converted from the resultant spot kick to give the visitors a 4-0 lead.
Three minutes later, substitute Bame Morwalela scored what can be termed the goal of the match. He chipped the ball past an advancing Keabetswe after he had marvelously navigated his way past defenders. It was Morwalela’s first goal for Popa.
Perhaps the major highlight of the match was the red card issued to substitute Ivan Mbowa in the 80th minute for lack of decency.
Mbowa had replaced an injured Nato midway through the first stanza of the match. Tlhalefo Molebatsi completed Popa’s eventful day in the 82nd minute through a penalty. That was after Seete had fouled Morwalela inside the goal area.
Tonota FC: Seete, Botshelo Moseki, Thoko Lechaena, Onalenna Sepego, Bokang George, Goitseone Galeeme, Otisitswe Seboletswe, Boikobo Kennetseng, Tabona Kaene, Keotswetse Natale
Rollers: Dambe, Motsholetsi Sikele, Mathumo, Arnold Mampori, Ratanang, Nato (Mbowa), Mothusi Cooper (Phenyo Serameng), Lemponye Tshireletso, Molebatsi, Kitso Mpuisang (Morwalela), Moalosi
Tonota FC 0
Rollers 6 (Nato 3rd, Mathumo 32nd, Ratanang 49th, Moalosi 60th, Morwalela 63rd, Molebatsi 82nd)