PALAPYE: Trouble-ridden Motlakase Power Dynamos strolled 2-0 past a lacklustre cross-town rival Palapye All Stars on Saturday in a poorly attended derby at Palapye Swallows Grounds.
Motlakase came into the encounter in a week that they had fired their coach Letlogilwe Seoforeng following a string of poor results and a defeat by a third tier division one league team in the Orange FA Cup.
There were also rumours of trouble in the camp with other players not training due to poor welfare. The club is also reeling from departure of key players in the recent transfer window period.
Caretaker coach, Thobo Mogale accepted the challenges as far as issues of player welfare were concerned. He said losing key players was a blessing in disguise adding that there was unrest and complacency in the squad.
He said despite the agonising challenges, the new squad is showing the fortitude to return the team to a respective position in the log standings.
“We had a problem of complacency with our past squad hence we continually underperformed. But with these new younger boys, they are hungry to show out their talent,” Mogale said. “They listen and executed our plan very well in the game. Mathematically the league is still open, and we are focussed on getting the right results in the last lap of the league.”
During the encounter, Motlakase showed their hand from the onset. They could have burst the dam in the opening minute from a Ghalisano Johane freekick, but the unmarked Bakang Seboko headed over. Motlakase pressed All Stars into the backfoot and dictated the tempo of the game. All Stars reached the Chouka end after a quarter of an hour.
Barulaganyi Tapiso broke on the right wing and delivered a cross that took an awkward bounce that beat the attacking Motlakase goalkeeper, but the defender was well positioned to clear for a corner.
Motlakase winger, William Onkgopotse saw his header from Johane’s corner cleared off the line in the 25th minute. The teams went to the break deadlocked.
After a continuous knock and dominance Motlakase broke the deadlock with a Johane stunner on top of the hour mark.
Onkgopotse posted a pinpoint to Johane and the left-footer volleyed into the far corner from inside the 18-yard area.
All Stars could have levelled matters five minutes later, but the striker Kabelo Kadisa miscued an effort that he could have tapped home from inside the 16-yard box. Onkgopotse made it 2-0 with a spectacular 35-yard free kick into the bottom left corner. He failed to claim a brace after substitute Tshepo ‘Schoolboy’ Molefhe released him one-on-one against the goalkeeper with a trademark pass. and the latter collected his attempted loft.
Motlakase captain, Kemiso Nswazwi could have wrapped it up after neat interchanges from the back but saw his goal-bound connection parried over by the goalkeeper to deny him in the closing minutes of the encounter.
All Stars coach, Nonofo Mohutsiwa said his young charges failed to handle the pressure and gave away the game.
“They (Motlakase) pressed us deep in the opening minutes and we struggled to climb. We retorted by pressing them high up, they caught us with pace and punished. We have seen our blunders and the fight continues.”
All Stars: Lebogang Machola, Barulaganye Tapiso, Keabetswe Phuthego, Onkemetse Konasetso, Maatla Oaitse, Thabo Bathusi, Kagiso Gabatlhokwe, Ernest Ngwaga, Kadisa, Ignitious Wetshoetsile, Boitumelo Leagetse
Motlakase: Badisa Mpote, Odirile Gabaleswe, Nswazwi, Tiro Khumanego, Fortune, Tshepo Tapiso, Bakang Seboko (Gabatlhomphe Tsheko), Khumo Oitsile, Onkgopotse, Masego Botumile (Thapelo Chabalala), Johane
All Stars 0
Motlakase 2 (Johane 60th, Onkgopotse 72nd)