Football Battle of David, Goliath

| January 8, 2015

Yes it is official. The stage has been set and it can never become bigger than this titanic battle.

It has pitted Botswana’s darling and reigning be Mobile Premier League Champions, Township Rollers against arguably South Africa’s most successful club, Kaizer Chiefs.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League recent draw has delivered what could easily be termed as ‘The battle of David and Goliath.’

In comparison, the combat can be best described quoting from the holy Bible, which says, “When the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah, they pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelis assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines.”

The question is who will win the fierce battle and come out as David while the loser will be Goliath at the end of it all.

Dates for the gigantic all Southern African clash show that the first leg will be played on the weekend of February 13-15, 2015 when Township Rollers, affectionately called Popa Popa will be away in South Africa.

On the weekend of February 27-March 01, Amakhosi as Kaizer Chiefs is known by its legion of supporters, will cross into Botswana and trot in the National Stadium for the return leg.

A lot is at stake in this game as both teams are champions in their own rights and doing very well in their respective leagues.

Popa currently leads the domestic league having played 15 games with 37 points and are yet to lose a single game. Similarly, their counterparts, Amakhosi have played 18 games unbeaten and are currently on top of the Absa Premier Soccer League (PSL) with 46 points.

Both teams have a lot in common as they enjoy massive following in their respective countries and boast of quality squads that continue to cause havoc for many teams.

Another similarity is that Chiefs was banned from competing in African club competitions until 2009 after their sudden withdrawal from the 2005 CAF Confederations Cup.

Rollers also faced the same predicament in 2011 as they were banned for three years for withdrawing from the similar competition, after they were fixtured against Interclube Luanda of Angola.

Rollers are the most decorated team in Botswana, having won the league championship 12 times while Chiefs were decorated 11 times.

The 51st edition of the CAF Champions League promises to be better, especially with the two clubs facing each other and is probably one of the fixtures that Africa will be watching.

Chiefs are no strangers to this country as they have previously face the Peleng Boys in the mould of Extension Gunners, then known as LCS Gunners in 1993 in the CAF Champions League match.

They won 1-0 at the fully packed National Stadium in the first leg and in the second leg humiliated Mapantsula with five goals to nil.

In 2004, they played against Rollers in a “Show U Care” tournament also at the National Stadium, with the game ending in a stalemate, but Chiefs eventually won 5-2 after a penalty shoot.

Then under the tutelage of the late Joseph ‘Banks’ Panene, Rollers had committed players such as goalkeeper, Raphael Nthwane, Tshepiso ‘Sox’ Molwantwa, Mmoni “States’ Segopolo, Patrick Mathaba, Cecil Mosojane, Moemedi “Jomo” Moatlhaping, Lesego Molemogi and Thapelo Balepi amongst others.

Chiefs paraded goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez, Cyril Nzama, Patrick Mabedi, Fabian McCarthy Junior Khanye, Sibusiso Dlamini, David Radebe, and Collins ‘Ntonfontofo’ Mbesuma, amongst others.

Amakhosi were also in the country last year November when they played in a friendly encounter against Mochudi Centre Chiefs. They won three nil, courtesy of Mandla Masako and Lehlohonolo Majoro’s brace.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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