A BTC Premiership match played in windy conditions before a capacity crowd at the UB Stadium on Saturday night ended in a stalemate as Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs played to a one all draw.
In a high tempo first half, Arnold Mampori struck a free kick from well outside the Rollers 18 yard box to hand Magosi the lead, before Kago Monyake equalised for Popa minutes later.
The pace of the match dropped somewhat in the second period, and the game ended at one apiece as Rollers move to 20 points on the log after six wins and two draws.
Township Rollers began life without former coach Nikola Kavazovic, with whom the club severed ties midweek. Interim head coach Thabo Motang made two changes to the side which played the Blues’ last official fixture against Extension Gunners in Lobatse; Kaone Vanderwesthuizen and Jackson Lesole dropped to the bench, and in their place Thatayaone “TT” Ditlhokwe and Motsholetsi Sikele made the fullback berths.
Having just recovered from injury, Lemponye “FC” Tshireletso and Tshepo “Talk Talk” Motlhabankwe made a welcome return to the team sheet, starting on the bench.
Deploying a 4-3-3 tactical shape, Motang picked a line up of Wagarre Dikago in goal; a backline of fullbacks Sikele and Ditlhokwe, centre halfs Simisani Mathumo and Mosha Gaolaolwe; captain Maano Ditshupo alongside youngsters Mothusi “Mini” Copper and Kago Monyake in midfield; with Segolame Boy operating just behind Joel Mogorosi and Tumisang “Teenage” Orebonye in a three man attack.
On a cool night in Gaborone, Rollers played against a strong wind in the first half.
Three minutes in, Orebonye could not control a ball played deep into the box, as the Popa marksman hunted an early goal.
Dikago was called upon to save a long range Onalenna Molelekwa shot; the Blues goalminder tipping the ball away for a Centre Chiefs corner kick.
Mogorosi had a great chance deep in the Centre Chiefs danger zone saved by Magosi goalkeeper Siamang Kgosipula; Mogorosi then shot the rebound over the bar from close range.
Arnold Mampori opened the scoring for Centre Chiefs with a brilliant direct free kick from well outside the box; the wind perhaps aiding the Magosi midfielder but a great goal nonetheless.
Popa drew level through Kago Monyake who scored from close range after a goalmouth scramble.
The first half ended with the two sides locked at a goal apiece.
After a high octane first half, the second stanza started at a slightly lower tempo.
Popa made a double substitution, bringing on Lemponye Tshireletso and Kamogelo Matsabu as Orebonye and Monyake were withdrawn.
In the 63rd minute, a high ball played deep into the Centre Chiefs 18 yard box was headed goalward by Mogorosi but the Centre Chiefs rearguard cleared their lines.
The Rollers backline had to be alert to stave off a Centre Chiefs attack as Morris Ruzivo and Terrace Mandaza advanced towards the Blues goal.
Ivan Ntege was brought on for Sikele with 15 minutes to spare.
It stayed 1-1 to the end.
Copyright 2018 The Official Township Rollers FC Website. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.rollersfc.com as the source
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