- Rollers aiming to reach sixth final in eight seasons
- Makhwengwe optimistic despite 0-2 deficit
Township Rollers have assumed control in their Mascom Top 8 semifinal tie against city rivals Gaborone United. Rollers marched to a comprehensive 2-0 victory in the first leg at the National Stadium on Sunday, as a result they now have a comfortable cushion ahead of the second leg.
A well taken half volley from Maano Ditshupo opened the scoring for Popa as they took a 1-0 lead heading to the break, in the second half TS Galaxy bound defender Mosha Gaolaolwe sealed an emotional farewell with a goal to round off the scoring for the day.
GU attempted to add to their supply line with the introduction of Dirang Moloi in the second half but Rollers managed to hold off Moyagoleele’s late attempts. A clean sheet and a win is just what Rodolfo Zapata would have wanted as he faced his former employers for the first time since his brief spell with AFC Leopards.
Provided they win the tie, it would present the Argentine coach with a chance to contest for his first piece of silverware in Botswana. Rollers have created an opportunity to reach a record sixth final in eight seasons if they get the job done in the second leg.
However, Phillemon Makhwengwe has called for calm despite the 0-2 deficit, the GU coach believes that they still have a chance to beat Rollers in the second leg. He has urged supporters to rally behind the team and to believe that they can still beat Rollers to reach the final.
“The deficit is not tough to overcome, the opposition is tough but we can overcome them. We made two key goalkeeping areas, they did not really dominate and create enough chances to trouble us. We will fix those mistakes in time for the second leg and we will come back a lot stronger. We created lots of chances towards the end of the game and that showed us that we can take matters into our own hands and be more aggressive in the return leg. We need to improve our composure, we need to think faster in the opposition box. Nobody should give up, we have a difficult task but it is not an impossible one,” Makhwengwe told Gazette Sport.
Rollers and GU are the joint most successful teams in the tournament, the winner of this particular semifinal tie will have a chance to add to their tally and become the outright leader in Mascom Top 8 titles. The other two semifinalists, Jwaneng Galaxy and BDF XI, are also former champions and both teams have a chance to win the tournament and equal Rollers and GU’s trophy haul in the competition.