FRANCISTOWN: Masitaoka mentor, Nelson Olebile has said he was not surprised that his players struggled to assert themselves against Calendars Stars in an Orange FA Cup quarterfinal clash at the old Francistown Stadium on Saturday.
They become so motivated when they play bigger teams or teams in the elite and give it their all. It then becomes difficult to beat them. Calendar were so motivated and gave us a good match, which is what I expected. They are a really good side,” Olebile said. “We are now in the next stage of the competition, which is what we wanted. We know that the next stages of the competition will be difficult because we are going to meet teams that have been campaigning in the Premier League and cup competitions for a very long-time but we are ready for any of them.
We will prepare for the semi-final accordingly,” he said. Masitaoka found themselves trailing as early as the 11th minute when captain Basiamisi Sebalo’s attempted clearance landed in his own net. Although the first half produced little scoring opportunities, Stars continued to dominate possession and showing promise than the visitors. Masitaoka found the equaliser in the 33rd minute through forward Oteng Dintwa. The latter capitalised from a rebound to fire home the crucial equaliser.
Seconds later, former BDF XI forward Kaunda sent his shot over the bar with the goalkeeper the only man to beat. Stars would have regained the lead in the 45th minute through man of the match, Yashe Dambe, but his well taken free kick was cleverly tipped over the bar by the visitors’ goalie Katlego Mbise. Masitaoka emerged a rejuvenated side after the break and launched several attacks. They were rewarded for their efforts in the 57th minute. Midfielder Walter Mukanga scored with a low range free kick from within the edge of the box. The ball appeared to be less threatening but pitched in front of the goalkeeper and changed direction.
After the second goal, Masitaoka appeared to have found more rhythm and started piling pressure on the hosts. Stars also showed patches of greatness in the second half but they were not that threatening as they did in the opening half of the match. Olebile’s side missed a chance to score the third in the 75th minute when Kaunda’s well taken shot went inches wide.
The visitors took the match beyond reach of Stars in the referee’s optional time when substitute Samuel Ditodi navigated his way through the host's defence before firing a low ground shot that gave goalie Carlos Mosinyi no chance.
The Teams: Calendar Stars: Mosinyi, Kemoneetse Mangwedi, Maikano Macheng, Gilbert Tamokate, Golebaone Baopedi, Matlhogonolo Manko (Gomotsang Zhisani), Thabo Ngada, Oketsang Mochaina, Dambe (Inndoeni Mogapi), Upoga Dekesha (Goitseone Mponang), Kago Kaizer (Keleagetse Mogomotsi)
Masitaoka: Mbise, Radikolana, Oabile Makopo, Fortunate Thulare, Basiamisi Sebapalo, Koketso Mojafi, Mukanga (Keabetswe Obonetse), Kaunda (Christopher Lemme), Dintwa (Gaamangwe Sethibe), Bakang Tsholang, Tiro Pheresi (Kakanyo Kethubile)
Calendar Stars 1 (Sebalo OG 11th) Masitaoka 3 (Dintwa 33rd, Mukanga 57th, Ditodi 90th)