SELEBI-PHIKWE: A brilliant goal from Onkabetse Makgantai helped Nico United share points with Orapa United in a poorly attended beMOBILE Premiership encounter on Friday.
The game did not attract satisfactory attendance by supporters perhaps a factor that can be attributed to the fact that it was initially scheduled to start at 7pm before rescheduling it for 4pm. The game lacked sparks with neither team showing hunger. The first half went into recess with both teams in a deadlock. Performance improved in the second half with Nico wasting an opportunity to take the lead from a free kick. After a long wait for a goal, it finally came in the 82nd minute through midfielder, Patrick Motsepe giving Orapa United the lead. Approaching the dying minutes of the game Orapa United relaxed and Nico took advantage and pushed forward with an equaliser.
Makgantai broke Orapa United supporters’ hearts when he equalised in the last minute of the game, denying them maximum points.
It was Nico’s first point of the season, having lost their first three games.
In a post-match interview Nico United coach, Wesley Mondo could not hide his elation and breathed a sigh of relief after finally collecting a point. Mondo told Monitor Sport that the point that they got from the game will boost his players’ confidence and reduce the pressure.
“The point is very vital because we needed to start somewhere. The players will now be under no pressure,” he said.
He was, however, concerned with the goals his team has been conceding.
“The goals that are scored against us are cheap. We are able to control the game, but we end up on the losing side,” he said.
Orapa United acting coach, Oitsile ‘Chippa’ Koolese blamed Makgantai’s goal on his defenders. He said if his defenders were alert, Nico would not have equalised.
“I thought we wrapped up the game, but a defensive mistake cost us. We did not play well,” he said.
Nico United: Kagiso Ranksbekwa, Trinity Nko, Otsile Batang, Nelson Moreetsi, Onkabetse Seforo, Innocent Sikhungu, Arnold Mampori, Gift Moyo, Richard Legwaila, Onkabetse Makgantai, Christopher Musonda
Reserves: Boitumelo Sematla, Samson Mogomotsi, Ishmael Mosetlha, Livingstone Witness, Thatayaone Gaokgorwe, Obakeng Gaanabeng, Allen Ndodole
Orapa United: Mosimanegape Robert, Kealeboga Molebatsi, Mooketsi Hlabano,
Olekantse Mambo, Patrick Motsepe, Mgcini Sibanda, Kabo Mungabe, Tumelo Mazebedi, Lemogang Maswena, Patrick Lenyeletse, Thabang Mosige
Reserves: Kaelo Joseph, Gogontle Marumo, Lesego Matoteng, Simon Mashadza, Baboloki Makhura, Thabang Sesinyi, Mandalaenkosi Sibanda
Nico United 1 (Makgantai 90th)
Orapa United 1 (Motsepe 82nd)