Matebele FC – Epitome of FA Cup Showpiece

Kuka Ntsu, defies the football patterns and odds

By Molefhi Kannemeyer Obenne

In the previous edition of Orange FA Cup, Masitaoka exemplified what FA Cup is all about, as they defeated Township Rollers by 2 – 1 in the semi – final and went all the way to reach the final against decorated Gaborone United. At the time, Masitaoka had qualified for the FA Cup under a Kweneng region division 1 league champion’s berth, despite playing in the Premier League during the 2021/22 season. This trickery phenomenon followed their purchase of Black Peril first division status in 2019, stoppage of football due to COVID – 19, which rendered a few occurrences extraordinary.

In the 2022 FA Cup edition, Matebele FC, affectionately known as “Kuka Ntsu” in the football circles, carried the same tag. They qualified for the FA Cup berth as Kgatleng region division 1 champions and went on to gain automatic promotion to Debswana First Division in 2020, though as Master Blackpool. Later on, they changed their name to Matebele FC following a well-documented change of ownership under the auspices of Botswana Football Association.

Do you believe in event coincidence? There is one in the FA Cup. Matebele is what Masitaoka was in the 2021 edition. In the last 16 FA Cup games, there was a pattern that revealed that all the teams that were home lost. Township Rollers lost to Security System in Lobatse, Holy Ghost lost to BDF XI in Mmopane, Black Forest lost to Jwaneng Galaxy in Mankgodi, Calendar Stars lost to Gaborone United in Francistown, Nico United lost to Sua Flamingoes in Selibe Phikwe and Eleven Angels lost to Police XI in Francistown. Matebele FC (as the home team) was supposed to lose to Tafic in Gaborone, but they defied the odds and beat Tafic, 3 – 0, in a midweek game which was replayed due to unplayable condition caused by heavy downpours at SSG Grounds. This above represent 1 out of the 8 games as the odd one.

During the last 8 games, laso known as the quarter – finals, Police XI was home to Gaborone United and lost 2 – 1, Sua Flamingoes were home to BDF XI and lost 6 – 0, Extension Gunners were home to Security System and lost 2 – 1. Matebele FC was home to Jwaneng Galaxy and won. This is against the last 8 games’ pattern, which coincidently dictated that away teams should win. This made 1 out of 4 games to be the odd one and it also involved Matebele FC.

Matebele has defied the cognitive bias in the process, which according to Michael Loftman, “is a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, remembering or other cognitive process, often occurring as a result of holding onto one’s preferences and beliefs regardless of contrary information.”

Next up is the semifinals, what do the statistics conceal in the form of Matebele?