Records are at stake as Gaborone United (GU) and Masitaoka clash in the 2019-2020 Orange FA Cup final to be played tomorrow at the National Stadium.
On Saturday evening, Moyagoleele will be looking for a record seventh FA Cup to cement their name as the undisputed kings of knockout football. GU will be facing a Masitaoka side that is chasing its first ever major title in the team’s 53 years of existence. Majatlhaga have several lower league accolades and on Saturday evening, they will be eyeing their first major cup win at the scalp of the Reds. Masitaoka will be looking to join the elite class of TASC, Police XI, BMC FC (now Gilport Lions) and Orapa United, who won the FA Cup on their first final tie.
The clash between the two sides is special as it has sparred two local coaches, a first in close to a decade. Innocent Morapedi will be in the Reds’ corner while Nelson Olebile will be in the Blues’ corner. The pair is eyeing to follow in the footsteps of Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote who lifted the first edition of the Orange FA Cup in 2019. Speaking to Mmegi Sport, Morapedi cherishes a fight against his ‘colleague’ as he says is a sign of good development in local coaches. “It is a welcome development because we have seen our colleagues from outside dominating local football in the belief that they are better than us. So it is a good thing we have two local coaches in the final. One of them is going to lift the cup and one will lose, which I believe is a good sign of development for local coaches,” he said.
#Morapedi further said he is not wary of his opponents who have acclaimed the giant-killing status after eliminating Rollers in the semifinals. Masitaoka presents a very organised defensive structure as they kill off their games with a ‘one chance, one goal’ type of counterattacks. The Reds on the other hand show patience in their build-ups, creating chances and with an eye to dominate their opponents. “I am not worried about how they play their football. You get worried about your own team; do we have the structure we have been playing on? If yes then you are comfortable. We do not put on a game plan; they will come up with a game plan. Because we expect any team to try to stop us from playing by any means.
I am waiting for a team that will say let us open the game and play football,” Morapedi said. Olebile on the other hand, says he is aware of the abundance of talent in the GU ranks but has said his side will come up with a plan as he faces his 'friend'. "Morapedi is my friend, he talks a lot. We have talked and planned even before the season began. He is someone I share my notes with.
It is a great feeling that I will be facing him in the final and that shows that local coaches can also do it. I am aware of the individual brilliance Morapedi has in his squad. We should have a plan against that. They are a team that play possession football and we will be ready. We will have our moments and I believe we will show the public why we are in the final and give the people of Mokwena some pride," he said. Olebile is awaiting the fitness test of defender Fortune Thulare and attacker Koketso Majafi, who suffered injuries.