Rollers Overcome Ecco

| April 7, 2015

Township Rollers beat relegation threatened Ecco City Greens 3-1 at the National Stadium on April 5 to keep alive their slim chances of defending the be Mobile Premier League title.

After showing signs of inconsistency in their last six games, registering losses against lowly ranked teams such as BR Highlanders and Nico United, Rollers managed to see off a struggling team this time around.

However, they remained in position three but moved to 49 points following the victory, eight points adrift of log leaders Mochudi Centre Chiefs and two behind second placed Orapa United.

As things stand, any of these three teams has a chance to clinch the championship at the end of the second season. Despite winning, Rollers coach Madinda Ndlovu said he was not happy with his team’s performance.

“We tried to put two strikers to put more fire upfront, but I am not quite sure what was happening with my team. Their body language speaks volume. You can tell that there is something wrong, but I don’t know what it is, but something is wrong,” he said.

Ndlovu said they made many mistakes at the back, leading to them conceding a penalty. “While I have an experienced goalkeeper he is put under severe pressure by the fact that we are hard hit by injuries at the back. Currently our defense is always changing, not because we like to change, but because of injuries.

Therefore I am going to rely mostly on Noah Maposa because he can save balls that pose danger to us,” he said. Mathematically, he maintained that they were still in the championship race.

Popa started at a low tempo, giving Mamoja Diskie more room to maneuver, but as the game progressed they woke up from their slumber and Kobamelo ‘Swere’ Kebaikanye caused havoc on ECCO defence.

On the 15th minute of the game, Thabo Ngada unleashed a cracker, but Rollers keeper Maposa was equal to the task. In the 20th minute, Rollers made a forced substitution after Tshepo Motlhabankwe appeared to have pulled a muscle.

They introduced Segolame Boy and Lawrence Majawa was moved to central defense. Ecco won a free kick on a dangerous spot on the 22th-minute and Gaboratanelwe Kgosietsile tried to finish, but Maposa was alert and saved the ball.

Immediately after that, Rollers launched an attack, and once the ball fell to Otlaantshekela Mooketsi, the defender struck from outside the 18 yard box to give Mapalastina the lead.

However, Popa celebrations were short-lived as Majawa handled the ball in the box and referee Lekgotla Johannes awarded ECCO a penalty which was dispatched by Malepa Bolelang on the 24th-minute.

Rollers increased the pace of the game in the second half and on the 47th-minute, Kebaikanye applied good technique to find the back of the net after Olekantse Mambo failed to clear. The goal breathed life into Rollers players as they continued to move forward searching for another goal, but lack of composure in the box was their main enemy.

However, on the 84th-minute Manqoba Ngwenya, who had a good game on the day, capitalised on the rebound to seal victory for Popa. Ecco coach, Texan Phiri said they played better in the first half and created scoring opportunities, but could not score more.

He said his team always created chances, but had no luck. “But with five games to go, there is still a lot to fight for. I am not a coward, we still have to work hard until the last whistle and we sink with our boots on,” he said.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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