The beMOBILE Premier League side, Gilport Lions got their first point when they played to a goalless draw with defending champions, Mochudi Centre Chiefs at the Molepolole Sports Complex on Friday.
Lions’ David Makakaba and Sekgabo Molebatsi faced their former side. Another former chiefs player, Kenamile Mani was in the starting line-up. Coach Paradzayi Mandivenga was in charge for the first time after being granted a work permit. The nomadic, Dirang ‘Malam’ Moloi, was also in the starting line-up of the defending champions, replacing Tendai Nyumasi. Lesego Molemogi, another new signee, awaited his debut on the bench.
Magosi started by controlling the game with more possessions, using their usual carpet football while Lions devised a strategy of counter attacks, using their speedy wingers: Makakaba and Chrispen Mbewe.
‘Malam’ produced fine touches in the first minutes of the game, combining well with Jackie Mothathego and Lesego Galenamotlhale. In the fifth minute, Bonang Monyatsi produced a defence splitting pass to Tendai Nyamadzawo but the latter was ruled offside.
Lions continued with their counter attacks but missed chances with Nyamadzawo being the culprit. In the 15th minute Chiefs’ midfield staged a good interplay, with an attempt by Piro going wide.
Lions were forced to make a substitution in the 25th when Sekanonyane strained his muscle after a cross. Mlungi Ndlovu replaced him. The first half ended without a goal.
When the game resumed, the defending champions pushed for a goal but the vistors’ defence was up to the task, thwarting all attempts. In the 61st minute, Makakaba nearly scored for Lions but his shot was parried away by Raphael Nthwane and a rebound shot by Nyamadzawo went wide.
Another injury occurred in the 70th minute. Mutero was stretched out of the field after suffering an ankle strain. Striker Onalethata Tshekiso replaced him. Moatlhodi Ndana produced a superb save in the 80th minute to deny Tshekiso a one-on-one goal. Lions missed an opportunity to take the lead in the 85th minute as Makakaba shot went over the bar.
Lions’ coach, Mandivenga said his side went into the game to win because they lost their first three games.
Mandivenga said: “The main aim was not to get a point but not to lose. Chiefs are a big team. I think getting a point against Chiefs is a big achievement. This will build a confidence to our players,” he said.
The Chiefs coach, Mike Sithole, congratulated their opponents for showing character but decried missed chances. He said his players created scoring changes, but failed to bang in the goals.
“There are many new players in the squad,” he said. “We are working on the combinations.”
The team line-ups:
Chiefs: Raphael Nthwane, Mpho Rudolph Kgaswane, Kaelo Kgaswane, Charles Mutero, Keabetswe Jenamiso (Onalethata Tshekiso), Lesego Galenamotlhale, Pontsho Moloi, Jackie Mothathego (Thatayaone Ramatlapeng), Keaketswe Moloi, Dirang Moloi, Senatla Molefe (Mkhanyasile Siwahla)
Lions: Moatlhodi Ndana, Tumisang Sekanonyane (Mlungi Ndlovu), Bonang Monyatsi, Thabo Mhlanga (Unobatsha Mbaiwa), Lebogang Ditsile, Chrispen Mbewe, Steve Lochia, David Makakaba (Kenamile Mani), Sekgabo Molebatsi, Tendai Nyamadzawo
Cautions: Mbewe, Ndlovu