BDF XI and Township Rollers meet this Sunday in what is a repeat of last season’s Mascom Top 8 final.
However, unlike last season, this time the two giants meet in the semi finals. BDF XI will be the host team in this first leg of the last four.
Both sides have won the competition once and will be looking to become the first sides to win it twice since its inception. Gaborone United (GU) are the other side to have won the cup. The game comes at a time when both sides had lost their midweek games. Rollers went down 1-0 to Notwane in a league game on Wednesday while BDF XI also suffered with the same score line in Orapa against Orapa United.
While BDF XI have also been inconsistent since the beginning of the year, Rollers’ form should serve as a motivation for Matebele who have already beaten Rollers this year in a league game.
Out of six games played this year, Rollers have won just one and lost five. Three of the losses came consecutively.
Rollers are likely to welcome back striker, Jerome Louis who missed the game against Notwane through a knock. However, they are likely to be without midfielder, Dirang Moloi who is bereaved.
Oscar Ncenga and Tshepo Motlhabankwe, who sat on the bench in the midweek clash, are likely to return to the starting after a defensive blunder cost them points against Notwane.
Motsholetsi Sikele and Segolame Boy who are usually reliable in creating openings against opponents did not come to the party on Wednesday. BDF XI, just like Rollers, are very strong in the midfield and usually attack on the wings. BDF XI rely on Kabelo Seakanyeng as well as Lesego Lubinda on the wings with Master Masitara hoping to feast on their supplies upfront. Former Zebras captain, Mompati Thuma has shown flashes of brilliance since his return to the BDF XI squad.
Date: Sunday February 22
Venue: SSKB Stadium
Capacity: 5, 000 Expected
Temperature: 37 Degrees Celcius
Key Players (BDF XI): Master Masitara, Bonolo Phuduhudu
Key Players (Rollers): Segolame Boy, Motsholetsi Sikele FORM GUIDE: WLWLL Rollers: WLLLL
Rasta Kgengwenyane (BDF XI coach):
“To be honest the trip to Tanzania had a big effect on the Orapa United result. We arrived on Sunday and Tuesday we had to make another trip to Orapa. We had to sleep in Serowe on Tuesday and travel about 200 kilometres to Orapa on Wednesday for the game. We arrived today (Thursday) around lunch and we have to start training for the Rollers game. If we had enough resources we would be taking our players for massage because this principle of recovery is very important. But we are preparing for that game. We want to retain this cup. We know Rollers would throw everything at us because we beat them recently in the league.”
Madinda Ndlovu (Rollers coach): “We have prepared for this game just like any other game. We will be ready. We played well against Notwane. Unfortunately we made a blunder at the back and that is where we lost the game.”