Green Lovers Overcome Fighters In Play-offs

Mogoditshane Fighters' Thamiso Gagoangwe shields the ball away from Green Lovers' Keabetswe Kediseng
Mogoditshane Fighters' Thamiso Gagoangwe shields the ball away from Green Lovers' Keabetswe Kediseng

Green Lovers have put one foot into the Premier League after edging out Mogoditshane Fighters with a solitary goal in the first leg of the promotion play-offs played at the SSKB Stadium on Saturday.

Lovers booked a place in the play-offs after finishing second to Miscellaneous in the Debswana First Division North League, while fighters had to battle for the play-offs’ spot with Uniao Flamingo Santos.  Fighters had a more experienced players in their line up, with players like Branco Molokwane, Botlhe Moralo, Kenny Ledikwe and Mokgathi Mokgathi who have tasted Premier League football before.

The hosts looked the better side in the first five minutes as they looked to catch the visitors on counter attacks. Their efforts were nearly rewarded in the sixth minute, when Lovers’ goalkeeper pushed back into play a well struck free kick, but Gaanosi Mashabane failed to capitalise on the rebound. Four minutes later, Fighters missed another chance to take the lead as Thamiso Gagoangwe header went over the bar. In the 12th minute, Fighters survived a penalty scare when defender Branco Molokwane fouled Moatlhodi Ralesotla in the penalty area.

Fighters were the first to make substitutions with Nonofo Baatweng and Kago Kupezo coming on for Gaanosi Mashabane and Gaofenngwe Khubalo respectively. The duo’s combination nearly worked as Kupezo played a through ball to Baatweng, but the latter’s shot went wide.

Lovers looked hungrier for a goal than their opponents in the second half, playing short passes game in an attempt to unlock the Fighters’ defence.

In the 69th minute, Rentse Keakabetse pulled a long-range shot, but the effort went over the bar. Striker Moatlhodi Ralesotla beat an offside trap and chipped over advancing Fighters keeper to give the visitors the lead in the 74th minute. The Serowe based side nearly doubled their lead in the 84th minute, but Pako Gaofose’s free kick missed the target by a whisker.

Lovers will go into the second leg with a light advantage because of an away goal. The game will be played in Serowe this coming weekend.

The line-ups

Fighters: Onneile Ditshito, Kenny Ledikwe, Kabo Ngongorego, Ishmael Netty, Molokwane, Mothonzi Mthandaza, Mashabane (Baatweng), Gagoangwe, Khubalo (Kupezo), Malebogo Ntebogang, Daniel Mogapi (Mokgathi Mokgathi)

Lovers: Kemmonye Nyangane, Ignatius Ramasala, Mpho Ramoroana, Batshani Mafika, Keabetse, Kabo Ikaneng (Pusoloso Samson), Tumo Keiketile, Gaofose (Othusitse Tamapo), Ralesotla, Keabetswe Kediseng, Cornelius Ramotsebere

Caution: Baatweng

Fighters 0

Green Lovers 1 (Ralesotla 74th)

Editor's Comment
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