Township Rollers on Saturday afternoon were edged out 2-1 by Orapa United at the National Stadium; the Blues first loss of the 2018-19 premier league campaign.
Rollers possessed the ball well during the early exchanges but could not carry the ball into the attacking third, and Orapa starting growing in confidence as the game wore on.
Joel Mogorosi’s eighth goal of the season in the second half cancelled out Onkemetse Powe’s first half opener for the Ostriches, only for Lemogang ‘Ntosh’ Maswena to get the winning goal for the visitors.
Rollers stay top, only on goal difference as Orapa have now joined the Blues on 32 points, with Popa having a game in hand.
Rollers head coach Thabo Motang kept the same line up that started the 1-0 win over Miscellaneous in Serowe midweek.
Wagarre Dikago started in goal alongside a 4-4-2 outfield line up of Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Simisani Mathumo, Jackson Lesole in defence; captain Ditshupo, Motshusi Cooper, Lemponye Tshireletso and Segolame Boy in midfield; with Tumisang Orebonye and Joel Mogorosi in attack.
In the very first minute, Tshireletso took a low shot fro yards outside the Orapa that went just wide.
Rollers played their normal possession football, patiently building from the back, with Cooper looking to play the ball into the path of Orebonye.
Orapa’s Gofaone Mabaya hit a rising shot from just within the Rollers 18 yard box, producing a good save from Dikago who tipped the ball over the bar.
Orapa took the lead when Mabaya hit a shot blocked by Dikago, Onkemetse Powe then converted the rebound to give the Ostriches the one goal advantage.
Rollers had dominated the early play but as the first half progressed, Orapa got more involved in the game.
Late on in the first stanza, Popa had a goal ruled out when Orapa goalkeeper Kaelo Joseph saved a Segolame Boy free kick, with Simisani Mathumo converting the rebound only to be adjudged to be offside.
The match went into the half time break with Orapa a goal to the good.
Rollers stepped up their attacking play early in the second half, Mogorosi and Orebonye both coming close within minutes of the second period commencing.
The equaliser was a well worked team goal; Cooper and Orebonye involved in the passing movement before eventually locating Mogorosi in the right side of the Orapa danger zone; Mogorosi converted past Joseph to make it 1-1.
In the 65th minute, Boy advanced into the right wing and played in a cross met by Orebonye deep in the Orapa six yard box, but his attempt went narrowly wide.
Kago Monyake was brought on for Tshireletso in Rollers first change; Bogosi Mfila later coming on for Orebonye.
Orapa took the lead once more, Rollers struggling to clear their lines during an Orapa attack, the ball eventually finding its way to Lemogang Maswena in the box who struck past Dikago to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
Rollers came close in the 76th minute when a corner kick flaoted into the box was met by a Ditlhokwe header that hit the woodwork before going over.
Orapa held on for the win.
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