WeekendSport staff writer ALFRED MASOKOLA argues that despite falling down the pecking order as the favourites to win this season’s be MOBILE Premier League, defending champions Township Rollers could steal the title in the last few remaining games, while title favourites and arch-rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs could flatter where it matters most.
The beginning of the year saw a twist of fate for beMobile Premier League defending champions Township Rollers as loss of form saw the team handing over log leadership to arch-rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs. The Mochudi side is tipped to win the league.
However, the race for the coveted P1 million prize money is not yet over as Township Rollers can still overhaul Centre Chiefs’ 8 points gap, needing only three consecutive wins and hoping that Magosi flatters on their way to the finishing line- which admittedly is an unimaginable fate, although possible.
Rollers’ 5-1 victory over BMC in their last match has rejuvenated the Mma-Masire based club and revived their title hopes as the league head towards the finishing line. The remaining fixtures could decide the title race as Centre Chiefs’ recent form leaves much to be desired.
Although Chiefs remain in pole position to walk away with the title, its last two games show the team is not at top form, although it overtook Rollers in the bid for this season’s title. Chiefs drew 1-1 with 10-men against BMC and it took them an own goal and captain Pontsho Moloi’s free kick to defeat Orapa United in the last two games. Chiefs’ two reliable source of goals Lemponye Tshireletso and Kekaetswe ‘Mara’ Moloi seem not to be in best form in recent games.
Meanwhile Rollers scored eight goals in the last two games through the resurgent Manqoba Ngwenya who appeared three times on the score sheet. Ngwenya also scored a goal in the 3-1 win over visiting Ecco City Greens and a brace against BMC.
Meanwhile Chiefs’ next two games against relegation candidates FC Satmos and Motlakase Power Dynamos could prove to be the last turning point for the title as a loss in both games will bring the difference in points to just two, provided Rollers defeat Orapa United away and does the same to Motlakase Power Dynamos at home.
Chiefs will then have to face Gaborone United and the stubborn Moyagoleele, hardly the push over, can still cause a major upset to Chiefs title ambitions. In the same week, Rollers could go and steal three points at Selebi Phikwe against FC Satmos, to take a point lead at the summit of the log and take the decisive moment to the last encounters. Notwithstanding this, a draw for Chiefs against GU and a victory for Rollers against FC Satmos would see the two sides equal on points, with Rollers only being superior in goal difference.
On the final day of the league, Centre Chiefs will face Police XI, while Rollers will be facing Gaborone United in a city derby. Inspired by a rich vein of form, Rollers could finish the league in a dramatic fashion beating city rivals in a predictably jam packed stadium to win their fourth be MOBILE Premier League. The result for Chiefs on the same day, would only serve as academic, as Rollers victory could render it of no practical relevance.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.