Platinum Stars duo Mogakolodi Ngele and Kabelo Dambe have joined an elite group of Botswana players who have collected silverware in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). The Zebras pair won their first trophy since joining the club last year, after claiming the MTN 8 Cup from beating Orlando Pirates on penalties this past weekend.
The win ensured yet another Zebras player to pick up a winners medal in the competition for a second successive year; Joel Mogorosi steered Bloemfontein Celtic to cup glory in the same competition last year. Mogorosi was the top goal scorer in the previous year’s tournament and this year Ngele was among the top scorers with two goals.
His two-goal tally was instrumental in helping his side reach the final. He also converted a penalty during a tense penalty shootout in which his side prevailed with a 3-1 score-line.
Dambe and Ngele have now joined the likes of Mogorosi, Dipsy Selolwane, Mogogi Gabonamong and Phenyo Mongala as the only Botswana players to win trophies on South African shores. Mongala won the PSL title while at Pirates, Selolwane and Gabonamong both won the Nedbank Cup with Supersport United last year. Dipsy had also won the Telkom Knockout Cup in 2008 with Ajax Cape Town.
Prior to this weekend’s MTN 8 Final, Dikwena’s players had been promised to share half of the R8 million prize money amongst themselves. The victory ensured that the players each pocketed approximately R100 000 as a winning bonus.
An uphill task for Dambe
Meanwhile, a winner’s medal will serve as a consolation prize for Dambe who is struggling to earn a place in the starting line up. The Zebras stopper is facing an uphill task to displace Siyabonga Mpontshane, who new coach Alan Freese seems to fancy as the club’s first choice goalkeeper at the moment. The former Township Rollers goalkeeper has not yet featured in any of his side’s league and cup games this season.
Dambe has struggled to establish himself in the side since joining them; however, towards the end of last season he managed to earn a place in the side after performing better than his teammate. His encouraging displays earned him a contract extension at the club, as he had previously been signed on a one-year loan deal.