Platinum Stars attacking midfielder, Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele stole the show on Wednesday when he netted a hat-trick against Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates in a six goal thriller at Orlando Stadium that saw the two sides share the spoils.
A rejuvenated Tsotso Ngele was on song on the night, with everything he touched turning into gold. Ngele has credited his display to the return of Cavin Johnson who has always had predilection for the Botswana international.
Ngele had fallen out of favour under former coach, Allan Freese, but reasserted his worth with a man-of-the-match display at Orlando Stadium. Johnson returned to Dikwena at the end of last month, having previously steered the club to a second-placed finish in the League in 2012/13.
“I am very happy because it has been long that I have not been playing,” Ngele told KickOff.com. “When Cavin came here, I knew he had confidence in me, so I needed to help him and show him that I'm still capable of scoring goals.”
Before the arrival of Johnson, Ngele was evidently an unhappy man, featuring sparsely despite the team struggling to produce results. It was a blessing in disguise for Ngele when Freese was shown the exit door.
Ngele who signed with Mamelodi Sundowns at the beginning of the season had what looked like a perfect night but was let down by his side’s porous defence as they allowed Pirates to come back from behind every time Tsotso had given the team a lead.
Tsotso Ngele opened the scoring on the 32nd minute as he was afforded plenty of space and time on the ball just outside the Pirates box, before unleashing a well taken low strike to beat Brighton Mhlongo at the bottom right corner.
Ngele restored Dikwena’s lead on the 45th minutes with a brilliantly taken free kick, which beat the wall and swerved into the net at far post.
The former Santos and Township Rollers man completed his hat-trick with a strike from 22 yards which gave substitute goalkeeper no chance before sinking into the net.
Ngele has now proved to be Pirates’ nightmare having denied the Buccaneers success in the past on one occasion. In 2013, during the Telkom Knock out final, Ngele came from the bench to cancel Pirates’ lead before netting the winner with a well taken shot outside the box ten minutes from time.
Tsotso will leave Stars at the end of the season to join Sundowns after signing with the team last season. An unimpressive season with Stars was likely to dampen his spirits but thanks to the arrival of Johnson.
Tsotso will compete for starting berth at the star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns team but with former Bafana Bafana coach rating him highly, he stands a chance of making it at “The Brazillians”.
Tsotso’s return to form is also good news for senior national team coach Peter Butler who is about to start the campaign to qualify for AFCON 2017.
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.