Emerging victorious in a penalty shootout in which a First Division side had come at them hard in normal time, GU now fancy themselves overcoming Mogoditshane Fighters because “we know them well”
Defending champions Gaborone United (GU) kept their hopes of retaining their Orange FA Cup title alive by defeating Crackit City Polar 3-0 in a penalty shootout following their 1-1 draw in open play at Lobatse Sports complex over the weekend.
“The Money Machine,” as GU are popularly known, escaped an early exit from the tournament by a whisker after Crackit City Polar held them to a 1-1 draw throughout what was a tough match for both sides.
GU had to change their approach to the game in the second half by introducing more experienced players like Lebogang Ditsele and Sizwe Thwala who eventually equalized and saved their team.
Coach Pontsho Moloi told Gazette Sports in a post-match interview that he is happy with his boys’ performance because the first division side came at them with a lot of pressure.
“We came into the math wary of the threat that Crackit posed because we have been following their first division campaign and we knew that they were among the contenders, hence our resistance,” Moloi said.
“We didn’t start well but we managed to regroup and got back to our normal play that led us to the penalty shootout.”
He acknowledged that their performance was affected by Mothusi Cooper’s red card that compelled him to make forced substitutions in order to bring stability in their defense. “We were unfortunate to have Cooper a red-carded,” Moloi said.
“It forced us to change our game plan to a defensive style instead of our normal game, and it was not an easy thing on our players. But being tactical and always prepared for anything that may happen is the point about football.
“We are grateful that we made it to the last eight and now stand a chance to defend our title.”
GU are drawn against Mogoditshane Fighters in the Last 8, which they consider an easy draw even though they are aware that a cup game is always different from a league game.
“Our draw is not bad because we have played Mogoditshane Fighters numerous times,” he said. “We know them well.”