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Battle for football's richest purse

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
Ultimate prize: Rollers and Orapa will contest the final in Francistown tomorrow PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
With so much uncertainty over the prize money for this year’s BTC Premiership, the Mascom Top 8 presents football’s richest purse, as Township Rollers and Orapa United prepare to tango at the Itani Obed Chilume Stadium tomorrow.

The Top 8 tournament has made significant strides towards claiming the country’s most prestigious local football competition.

The two giants, Rollers and United battle each other tomorrow not only targeting records and pride but also looking to cash in as the league struggles to make assurances on the prize money.

With the number of spectators continuously dwindling for other sporting competitions, the Mascom Top 8, probably because of its format and fierce competition, has managed to maintain the zeal.

This year’s final once again promises fireworks on the field as well as a full house on the stands.

The winner for this edition takes home P1.4 million following an increase of P100,000 at the beginning of the season. 

Rollers would look for their third success in the competition while Orapa United’s win will put them in the same league as Jwaneng Galaxy, Gaborone United (GU) and Rollers who have each won it twice. Rollers hold the most appearances in the final (six) with Orapa United second with four appearances, GU are third with three appearances while BDF XI and Galaxy appeared two times.

Francistown City Greens (formerly ECCO City Greens) together with Rollers, were the first finalists when the tournament kicked off in 2011.

David Bright remains the only local coach to have clinched the Mascom Top 8 title with GU in its second season.  Mogomotsi Mpote would join him if he succeeds against Franck Nuttall.

Only Mike Sithole has managed to win it twice as a coach, but with different teams.

He first did it in 2012 with Rollers and again in 2017 with Jwaneng Galaxy. Interestingly, no team has managed to defend the title.

Both Orapa United and Rollers have been blowing hot and cold this season although Orapa go into the match

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as favourites.

Prize money breakdown

Winners- P1.4million

Runners-up- P570,000

Semi finalists- P315,000

First round losers- P180,000

Man-of-the-match: P5,000

 

MASCOM TOP 8 FACTS AND FIGURES

THE FINALISTS

Orapa United

League position:  1st

Top 8 record: Champions (2015/2016)

Last season's record: Semifinalist

Current Form: L W W L W

 

Township Rollers

League position: 2nd

Cup record: Champions (2011/2012, 2017/2018)

Last season's record: Semifinalist

Current Form: L W W W L

 

ROAD TO THE FINAL

Quarterfinals first leg

City Stars          0-3             Rollers

Orapa               1-1             Systems

 

Quarterfinals second leg

Rollers                2-0             City Stars

Systems             1-2             Orapa

 

Semifinals first leg

Rollers             3-1             BDF XI

Galaxy             1-1             Orapa

 

Semifinals second leg

Orapa             1-0             Galaxy

BDF                1-0             Rollers

 

PREVIOUS EIGHT FINALS

2011/12:             Rollers             3-1             ECCO City Greens

2012/13:             G/United          2-1             BDF XI

2013/14:             BDF XI             1-1       (aet; 5-4 penalties) Rollers

2014/15:             G/United           2-1            Rollers

2015/16:             Orapa               3-1      (aet) Rollers

2016/17:             Galaxy              4-3             (aet) Orapa United

2017/18:             Rollers              4-2             Orapa United

2018/19:             Galaxy              2-0             Gaborone United

 

PREVIOUS WINNING COACHES

2011-12:            Rollers            Mike Sithole (Zambia)

2012-13:            GU David Bright (Botswana)

2013-14:            BDF XI Elijah Chikwanda (Zambia)

2014-15:            GU Rahman Gumbo (Zimbabwe)

2015-16:            Orapa            Madinda Ndlovu (Zimbabwe)

2016-17:            Galaxy            Mike Sithole (Zambia)

2017-18:            Rollers            Nikola Kavazovic (Serbia)

2018/19:            Galaxy            Miguel da Costa (Portugal)

 

PREVIOUS TOP GOAL SCORERS

2011/12:  Mogakolodi Ngele (Township Rollers): 6 goals

2012/13: Ronald Chikomo and Tebogo Sembowa (Gaborone United), Lemponye          Tshireletso (BDF XI): 4 goals each

2013/14:  Jerome Louis (Township Rollers): 5 goals

2014/15: Benson Shilongo (G United): 5 goals

2015/16: Maano Ditshupo (Township Rollers) and Ronald Chikomo (Orapa): 4  goals each

2016/17: Kumbee Rogers Katjiteo (BDF XI) & Tendai Nyumasi (Orapa United): 4 goals each

2017/18: Obonwe Maome (G United): 5 goals

2018/19: Thero Setsile, Tebogo Sembowa (both Jwaneng Galaxy) & Kamohelo Matsabu (Township Rollers): 2 goals each

WEATHER FORECAST

Temperature: 260C

Precipitation: 10%

Humidity: 55%

Wind: 23km/h



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