The Francistown Sports Complex will stage the highly anticipated Mascom Top 8 final this weekend as Jwaneng Galaxy and Gaborone United will tussle for the richest prize in local football. Over the years the competition has produced thrills and spills, with numerous records set in the process. Gazette Sport explores some of the records that might be equalled or surpassed in the final.
Makhwengwe aiming to emulate Bright
Major David Bright remains the only local coach to have lifted the Mascom Top 8 trophy, he guided Gaborone United to glory in 2013 in the first final to be played outside Gaborone (it was staged at the Lobatse Sports Complex).
Bright defeated BDF XI on the day, this was the only time in the competition whereby two local coaches faced off in the final as Bright beat Letang Kgengwenyane. The likes of Mike Sithole (twice with Township Rollers and Jwaneng Galaxy), Madinda Ndlovu (Orapa United), Rahman Gumbo (GU), Elijah Chikwanda (BDF XI) and Nikola Kavazovic have lifted the trophy in recent years. Makwengwe will be aiming to become the first Motswana to win the trophy since 2013, the six year drought for local coaches would be prolonged if GU fails to win the trophy.
Sembowa aiming to cement himself as the Top 8 king Tebogo Sembowa will be highly motivated to add to his personal Mascom Top 8 folklore as he targets a fifth title. Sembowa won his first title in 2012 when he helped Township Rollers beat Ecco City Greens, he won two titles with GU in 2013 and 2015 before bagging a fourth with Galaxy in 2017. Sembowa is the only player to have lifted the Top 8 title with three different clubs, this weekend he will set sights on an unprecedented fifth Top 8 title.
GU aiming to eclipse Rollers’ trophy haul Gaborone United are currently tied with Rollers as the most successful team in Top 8 history, the Gaborone giants have won the competition twice. If they win the competition they will be the outright leaders in the overall trophy haul of the tournament. The extra motivation of eclipsing their city rivals in the total standings will be an added motivation for the Reds.
Galaxy on course to equal GU and Rollers
Not to be left out, Galaxy will also be aiming to equal Rollers and GU’s tally of two Mascom Top 8 titles. Their 2017 triumph against Orapa United was one of the most entertaining finals in recent years, the team’s resilience and graft earned them a lot of respect from neutral fans and they will be eager to replicate their 2017 performance to lift the big prize again.
A 100% record in the final will be end for one team
GU and Galaxy are the only teams in Mascom Top 8 history with 100 percent records in the final. GU have participated in two finals, winning both. Galaxy have played in one final and they won it two years ago. Both teams have unbeaten records in the final and they wil put their perfect cup final records on the line, with the likelihood of a thrilling final in store.