P1.3 million Mascom Top 8 affair this weekend

As Jwaneng Galaxy clashes with Gaborone United

Tlotlo Kebinakgabo

All roads lead to Francistown this Saturday when Gaborone United clash with Jwaneng Galaxy in the much-awaited Mascom Top 8 Season 8 final.

In its eighth installment, the encounter is scheduled to kick off at 20:00 hrs at Francistown Sports Complex.
It will be the maiden time that the two teams face each other in the final of the high-stakes tournament.

Playing in their second final since the tournament inception, the ‘Galaxy Stars,’ as Jwaneng Galaxy are affectionately known, earned their place after dumping BDF XI in the semi-finals, walloping them a resounding 3-1 on aggregate. Before taking GU out of the way, the ‘Galaxy Stars’ had eliminated Sharps Shooting Stars in the tournament with a 3-0 aggregate win in the quarterfinals.

Aiming for their second Mascom Top 8 silverware, the ‘Galaxy Stars’ will be pinning their hopes on Thero Setsile who has proved reliable in the tournament thus far. He has dished impressive performances that earned him the man of the match accolade in both legs of the semifinal against BDF XI.

It will also be seen if the ‘Galaxy Stars’ goal poacher Tebogo Sembowa will persist with his good luck charm in the Mascom top 8 final which has seen him winning it for a record of four times. The weekend encounter will also give him an opportunity to edge over Kamogelo Matsabu of Township Rollers and grab the Yellow Boot as they are currently level with two goals.

Speaking in an interview with Gazette Sport Jwaneng Galaxy coach Miguel Da Costa highlighted that his team is ready to lift the Mascom Top 8 trophy for the second time this weekend.

“Yes it’s a final but we are going to treat it as we have been treating other games, it’s just another football weekend as it has been in the past. My players are happy and excited for the game not because it’s a final but due to the impressive performances they have been showing in the past month. It’s a final game which anyone can win, I just hope both teams will play nice football that will impress supporters,” he said.

Gaborone United will on the other hand be aiming for a third Mascom Top 8 final title, they have won it in 2013 and 2015. ‘The Money Machine’ as Gaborone United is otherwise known, paved their way to the final by eliminating Township Rollers with 10-9 score line in a penalty shootout after they played to a 3-3 aggregate score. Prior to the semifinals, ‘The Money Machine’ edged past Miscellaneous with a 1-0 aggregate score.

‘The Money Machine,’ being well aware that they have made it to the finals twice on which they emerged victorious, will be hoping to maintain the same streak. The Gaborone United faithful’s will be hoping that their playmaker in Dirang Moloi this weekend displays the starring role he portrayed when GU saw Rollers out of the tournament.

Gaborone United coach Philemon Makhwengwe said in an interview: “The preparations are going well and the whole squad is available for selection as we do not have any injuries or suspensions. What I have done is that I have worked on the psychology of my players, I do not want them to get anxious, overate or undermine our opponents as that can work to our disadvantage. It is going to be a highly competitive encounter which I think the team with minimal mistakes at the same time getting use of their chances is likely to win.”

The charismatic Makhwengwe said he is not only preparing his team for a win but for them to play good football. “If they play good football then they will be excellent in all departments and be a force to reckon with. The mistake that we mostly do in Botswana is that we prepare our players for a win something which puts them under pressure and result in anxiety,” he said.
The winner of the tournament will walk away with P 1.3 million whereas the runners ups will take home P550 000.