FRANCISTOWN: Motlakase forward, Master Masitara rolled back the years to a time when he was young and enterprising with an enthusiastic performance against Calendar Stars in a First Division North clash at Calderon grounds on Saturday.
The sides played to a 2-2 entertaining draw. Journeyman Masitara, re-joined Motlakase two years ago following his release by Premier League side, Morupule Wanderers and he appears to be thriving in the lower division. Deployed in his favourite centre forward role, Masitara gave the Stars defense a torrid time. He could have at least scored three goals had it not been for Tanyaradzwa Jinja who was excellent in goal. Masitara, the former Premier League record top goal scorer, has turned Calderon into a hunting ground. He scored a hat-trick against Calendar at the same facility last year. On Saturday, the Zimbabwean who will be 42-years in April, scored a scintillating goal in the sixth minute to give the visitors an early lead before setting up the second in the 17th minute. In the first goal, Masitara displayed predatory instincts he used to show during his prime era.
He pounced on a loose ball from within the goal area and quickly set himself up before unleashing a powerful shot that gave Jinja no chance. Three minutes later, his header would acrobatically be tipped over the bar by Jinja. He then cleverly set up skipper, Tshepo Baipoledi, for the second after neatly navigating his way past the defenders. Baipoledi scored with a low ground shot after he was given acres of space inside the box. The match was even from the 30th minute until half time although Masitara continued terrorising Stars defenders with his well-timed runs and off the ball movements. The host defenders also struggled to deal with his aerial strength. Stars did find a goal in the 45th minute when former TAFIC forward, Uyapo Thibathuwe scored with a well-executed header after he outjumped his marker. The second half did not disappoint as both sides continued pressing each other although clear opportunities were scarce.
However, Motlakase’s defence was not as cohesive as in the first half. This was done to the host’s decision to adopt an attacking formation in a bid to find an equaliser. They did find the equaliser through a penalty after a Motlakase defender was adjudged to have fouled Thibathuwe inside the box. Gomotsang Zhisani scored from the resultant spot kick in the 73rd minute. Masitara thought he had sealed victory for ‘Chouka’ five minutes from time but his well taken header went inches wide. Both coaches kept their teams unchanged for the entire proceedings, as a winner could not be found.
The Teams Calendar: Tanyaradzwa Jinja, Kaizer, Innocent Mogapi, Shadrack Sarai, Onkarabile Caiphus, Foda Omphile, Unabatsho Molotshwa, Buyani Kgomotso, Gomotsang Zhisani, Lucky Simon, Uyapo Thibathuwe Motlakase: Obakeng Tirelo, Eletsang Gaobatlelwe, Kemiso Nswazwi, Tumelo Rabadisa, Tshepo Baipoledi, Gosegonna Molapisi, Eugine Dintwa, Boago Ditshwantsho, Master Masitara, Katlego Ralegoreng, Baitshenyetsi Gabofole
*Calendar Stars 2 (Thibathuwe 45th, Zhisani 73rd) Motlakase 2 (Masitara 6th, Baipoledi 17th)