Township Rollers’ progress to the semi finals of the Mascom Top 8 has set up what should be an interesting battle between Gaborone sides and diamond town teams.
Rollers joined their city rivals, Gaborone United (GU), Orapa United and defending champions, Jwaneng Galaxy in the last four of the knockout competition.
South African striker, Mthokozisi Msomi’s solitary strike on Monday night saw Rollers advance against BDF XI with a 3-0 aggregate. Rollers went into the Monday night’s second leg of the quarterfinals carrying a 2-0 lead. As expected, BDF XI came with guns blazing in the first half as they sought to reduce the deficit and looked the better side going forward although they ran out of ideas in the last third. Rollers on the other hand, absorbed the pressure until the second half when they made several substitutions, which included the introduction of youngsters; Percy More and Gape Mohutsiwa. Following the substitutions, Rollers then took control of the match and were rewarded when Msomi scored a cracker in the middle of the second half. Segolame Boy hit the woodwork moments later.
The victory will pit them against their city rivals, GU or one of the mining sides, Galaxy and Orapa United. The anticipation over the next round of the competition has already grown and some are already predicting either a Gaborone derby in the final or a repeat of last year’s final where the two diamond sides locked horns. There is also a high chance of a repeat of the 2016 final where Rollers met Orapa United. Interestingly, Rollers have already played the three sides in the league this season and all the games ended in a stalemate.
Galaxy advanced to the semi finals after a 4-3 aggregate against Mochudi Centre Chiefs. The latter went into the second leg carrying a 2-1 lead, but were surprised by Galaxy in the second leg with two goals before they pulled one back. The match went into extra time where Galaxy scored the goal, which settled the tie.
Orapa United scored a solitary goal against Security Systems in the second leg to win 2-1 on aggregate while GU were rampant once again against Extension Gunners. In the first leg, they registered a 3-0 win before winning 3-2 in the second leg played in Francistown.
GU’s diminutive midfielder, Obonwe Maome has set the pace in the Yellow Boot race after his three goals in the second leg against Gunners. The three goals took his tally to five in the competition after he scored a brace in the first leg against the same side. Thero Setsile of Galaxy is second with two goals while the rest of the goal scorers are on one each.