Thalefo Molebatsi's second half strike secured a 1-0 victory for Township Rollers over Jwaneng Galaxy in the Botswana Premier League encounter played at the National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
From a corner kick, Mosha Gaolaolwe had the chance to open the score sheet but he shot wide off the goalposts. After the two chances, Popa had an upper hand but could not get into the final third. Tackles flew all over the field from both sides and the referee was too quick to stamp his authority. By the 35th minute he had already dished out three cautions.
Galaxy had their first moment of threat in the 36th minute as Rentse Keakabetse called a double fist save from Kabelo Dambe direct from the corner kick. Five minutes later, Moagi Sechele managed to shift off his marker but on his stronger left foot, he ballooned the shot over the bar. The two were logged at 0-0 at the halftime break.
Five minutes into the second half, Molebatsi, with a brilliantly taken free kick, forced a save from Ezekiel Morake. On the 55th Molebatsi had yet another chance from a set-piece but Morake was once again up to the task.
Substitute Wendell Rudath played a cross for Lucky Mokoena who was unmarked in the box but the latter was adjudged to have handled the ball. From the bench, Aaron Marc Dion showed quick feet to outwit his marker on the wing and set up Molebatsi whose low shot went wide on the 75th minute. Four minutes later, Lesego Keredilwe was caught napping and Molebatsi was there to pounce and slot at the far post to give Rollers the lead.
Five minutes to time Mpho Kgomo pulled a brilliant save from Kabelo Dambe from inside the box but Popa held on to make it two wins from the first two league games. On his post match reaction, Rollers' coach Hassan Oktay took a slight jibe at Galaxy for being a better prepared side ahead of the tie. "The team we played, has played more competitive games (this season). The only teams that were ready are Orapa (United) and Galaxy, and we have taken out Galaxy. It was an open game, I believe we missed chances but I am happy with the three points. The only teams that have been ready is Orapa and Galaxy, because they have been training for a long time now and playing competitively for a long time now," he said.
Rollers: Dambe, Brian Mankanku, Gaolaolwe, Simisane Mathumo, Onkarabile Ratanang, Kutlwelo Mpolokang, Moremi (Manno Ditshupo), Lemponye Tshireletso (Kago Monyake), Segolame Boy (Dion), Diallo (Jean Bertrand Irandukunda), Molebatsi
Galaxy: Morake, Thabo Leinanyane, Kereedilwe, Mphoyamodimo Keiponye, Moagi Sechele, Gape Mohutsiwa, Tshepang Boithatelo (Olebogeng Malebye) Rentse Keakebetse (Kgomo), Gilbert Baruti (Tebogo Sembowa) Mokoena (Thabang Sesinyi), Resaobaka Thatanyane (Rudath)
Cautions: Mpolokang, Mankanku, Mohutsiwa, Boithatelo, Leinanyane