Gaborone United overcame a spirited Notwane fight back to edge a thrilling be MOBILE Premier League encounter 2-1 at the SSKB Stadium yesterday afternoon.
As coach Rahman Gumbo summed it, GU made life difficult for themselves after swamping their opponents in the opening 30minutes.
Namibian striker, Benson Shilongo was the saviour with a brace that kept the Reds’ title hopes alive.
GU are fifth with 28points, nine behind leaders, Township Rollers while Notwane dropped to 11th.
Shilongo, who is having a dream debut season, sent GU on the path to victory after only two minutes.
The Notwane defence just evaporated, gifting the tall striker a clear path to goal and he duly lifted past goalkeeper Itumeleng Selapa.
The frenetic pace produced more chances for a wasteful GU side as its forwards squandered countless opportunities.
Notwane came to life in the closing stages of the second stanza, and slowly emerged from their shell.
The pressure told just after the breather when Kgomari ‘Ndobane’ Mothuba flashed a header home from a Langa Mabuli cross.
Mabuli provided constant headache for GU down the right flank while the Reds keeper, Goitseone Phoko proved why he is arguably the best shot stopper in the league at the moment.
With the game delicately poised and Notwane refusing to be bullied, the menacing Shilongo came to Gumbo’s rescue in the 73rd minute.
He applied the finish to a flowing move, which saw substitute, Jackie Mothathego float a long ball for Mandla Mgadla.
Mgadla released a first time shot, which found the head of Shilongo and straight into the net.
Shilongo was rushed the hospital soon after as a fierce shot rebounded on his face.
The game continued to be a see-saw affair with Notwane coming close on several occasions.
GU substitute, Ronald Chikomo summed his side’s frustrating afternoon when he missed just centimetres from the goal line, lifting his effort hopelessly high into the sky.
Notwane coach, Calvin Petersen blamed their nervy start for the defeat.
“We were just unfortunate but we are getting there.
The early goal messed us. We were complacent at the back early on,” he said, adding they are looking at beefing the squad during the current transfer window.
GU coach, Rahman Gumbo said they made life unnecessarily difficult for themselves.
“But it is understandable we are coming from the Christmas break.
We will not be making any more signings,” he said. GU has recalled its players who were only in addition to the signing of attacking midfielder, Mpho Kgaswane from Uniao Flamengo Santos.
Notwane: Itumeleng Selapa, Kereng Mpetang, Oabile Makopo, Keorapetse Seloiso, Lewis Skwainyana, Kgomari Mothuba, Odirile Kgaodi (Mpema 85th) Thato Mogorosi, Langa Mabuli (Gaofose90th), Farai Maphosa, Emmanuel Machinya (Maswena 60th)
Cautions: Mpetang, Sekwainyana
GU: Goitseone Phoko, Letsweletse Seane, Thabiso Khunwane, Gosegonna Molapisi, Alphonse Modisaotsile, Osego Gaotewe, Benson Shilongo (Rasuping 74th), Kgololo Kgogobi, Ntesang Simanyana, (Mothatego 60th) Mandla Mgadla, Tebogo Sembowa (Chikomo 60th)
Cautions: Sembowa, Khunwane
GU 2 (Shilongo 2nd, 73rd)
Notwane 1 (Mothuba 56th)