Popa snatch away goal

Kaizer Chiefs second half substitute, George Maluleka battles with Rollers' Motsholetsi Sikele. Kabo Mpaetona
Kaizer Chiefs second half substitute, George Maluleka battles with Rollers' Motsholetsi Sikele. Kabo Mpaetona

JOHANNESBURG: Township Rollers will learn in a fortnight how far their much needed away goal has done them good against powerhouse Kaizer Chiefs.

The Gaborone giants gave a good account of themselves, holding the South African giants for over 90 minutes as well as scoring a vital away goal in the 2-1 defeat in the preliminaries of the CAF Champions League. Township Rollers looked set to snatch a 1-1 draw with few seconds remaining, but  goal keeper Mwampule Masule’s last minute lazy error   cost the blues  a famous draw against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium, on Saturday night.

With few seconds before the final whistle, Kaizer Chiefs played a hopeless ball into the Rollers goal-keeper’s area. The ball looked very easy to catch but somehow Masule caused a corner kick, from which Kaizer Chiefs found the winner as  Tefo Mashamaite headed in.

The narrow victory sets up what is expected to be another thriller in a fortnight when the two giants meet in the second leg to be played at the National Stadium in Gaborone. The home side, Chiefs picked up their strong first line up for the game.


Trusted  keeper Itumeleng Khune returned for Kaizer Chiefs , while Zimbabwean  Mathews Rusike  made a rare start for  Amakhozi. Rollers started nervously in the first six minutes. Within five minutes, they had already conceded two corner kicks and it was not surprising when they conceded in  the sixth minute. They  were lost in the middle and Bernard Parker released Rusike who easily slotted past  Masule.  The goal further unsettled Rollers who struggled to  settle in the match. The visiting side were done a heavy blow in the 14th minute when defender, Otlantshekela Mooketsi injured himself on the shoulder as he tried to take a throw-in. He was replaced by Thato Bolweleng.

Rollers started finding their way into the game stringing several passes although they could not create clear scoring opportunities. 

In the 17th minute, Rusike received another good ball towards Rollers’ goal but, Masule denied him. Kaizer Chiefs’ George Lebese failed to capitalise from the follow up attack. Rusike who was a constant menace to Rollers’ defence in the first half beat the offside trap two minutes  later but Rollers’ captain, Maano Ditshupo’s timely tackle broke the attack. At that time, Chiefs were taking everything at Rollers but the visiting side deserve credit for managing to soak up the pressure.

Sikele cleared Reneilwe Letsholonyane’ effort off the line moments later with  Masule  well beaten. Chiefs continued to create chances against Rollers and Simphiwe Tshabalala also managed to beat the off side trap in the 34th minute but failed to hit the target.

 From that moment, Rollers started to push forward and it was not long before they created their first real goal scoring opportunity. Sikele made a good run on the right and released Boy who set up Jerome Louis who shot wide with only Khune to beat.

Rollers started the second half like a house on fire  and deservedly took the lead on the  47th minute through Boy. The goal resulted from a good interchange of passes between him, Bolweleng and Louis.

The goal seemed to bring the much needed confidence on the Rollers team as they  started taking the game to  Chiefs. Both Boy and Sikele gave Chiefs defenders little respect and looked dangerous on counters. It was not long before Chiefs made double substitutions, bringing in Mandla Masango and George Maluleke for Lebese and Tshabalala respectively. Rollers also replaced ineffective winger, Kebaikanye and with Sekhana Koko.

The game looked like it was heading for a draw, but Rollers conceded a corner in the stoppage time.  Mashamaite rose high to break the visiting side’s resilience. The two sides meet in a fortnight with Rollers hoping that the away goal they scored works for them in the second leg.

 

The line-ups:

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Siboniso Gaxa, Tshepo Masilela, Eric Mathoho, Mashamaite, Willard Katsande, Tshabalala (George Maluleke), Letsholonyane (Siphelelele Mthembu) Rusike, Parker, Lebese (Masango)

Rollers: Masule, Obonye Moswate, Mooketsi (Bolweleng), Simisane Mathumo, Oscar Ncenga, Lawrence Majawa, Sikele, Ditshupo, Louis (Manqoba Ngwenya), Boy, Kebaikanye (Koko)

Cautions: Ncenga, Maluleke, Rusike

Referee: Ansuidane Soulaimane (Comoros)

Assistant referees: Faissoil Mmadi Mdahoma, Ibrahim Hamadi Houssein (Comoros)

Chiefs 2 (Rusike 6th, Mashamaite 90th)

Rollers 1 (Boy 47th)

Editor's Comment
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