4 October 2018

Botswana: Mapalastina Maintain Winning Streak

Molepolole — Township Rollers climbed to the top of the BTC Premier League with 16 points after Nikola Karvazovic's men made it three wins in a row spin with a 2-0 hard fought victory over Prisons XI at Molepolole Sports Complex on Wednesday evening.

With their winning streak still intact Rollers now approach a crunch meeting against Extension Gunners tomorrow in a buoyant mood.

From the onset, the defending league champions took the game to Prisons XI with the aim to unsettle the freshly promoted side. The first chance of the game fell to high flying Joel Mogorosi after he latched onto a low cross delivered by Motsholetsi Sikele on the right flank forcing a great save from the keeper.

At the other end, Prisons nearly drew first blood in the 15th minute when Tumo Lebanna's thunderous shot rattled the cross bar and back into play with Rollers goalkeeper, Wagarre Dikago rooted to the spot.

As the first half progressed Rollers enjoyed more ball possession while Prisons XI held their ground and frustrated their opponents to a goalless half-time break.

From the half-time break, the tie still remained deadlocked until the 60th minute when Rollers were awarded a set-piece on the edge of the box after Kamogelo Mtsababu was hacked down.

Rollers new signing Mothusi Cooper curled the free kick into the near post to give the home side an important lead.

Rollers introduced the industrious Segolame Boy for Kago Monyake and things started moving for "The Blues." The former Miscellaneous star injected the much-needed pace upfront for Rollers. They nearly doubled their lead seven minutes later after Matsabu danced his way past Prisons' defenders only to scuffle his shot into the turf.

Tumisang Orebonye also had a chance to make it two for Rollers, but his near post header flashed just wide of the post. Prisons started to look lethargic in defence with Rollers missing a couple of golden chances to put the game beyond the visitors reach.

With three minutes to stoppage time, Boy put the gloss on a well-worked move to give Rollers a convincing 2-0 victory. Prisons XI coach Philemon Makwengwe expressed his disappointment over his defence giving away two goals, adding that they were cheap goals.

"We gave away the goals, sometimes we just shouldn't lose because we're underachievers and we should also give an account of ourselves as we are playing in the same league," he said.

The former Gaborone United gaffer was adamant that they matched Rollers pound for pound but that experience won the game for Rollers.

"I don't think the scoreline is a true reflection of the game. This should have at least been a draw because I think we played well, it's only that we conceded those goals which I believe we could have done much better to defend against," said Makwengwe.

Rollers assistant coach Leutlwetse Tshireletso said their opponents frustrated them in the first half by forcing them to play uncharacteristic football.

"In the second half we switched to a 4-4-2 formation and brought in Boy to add more width in attack hence we found our breakthrough, said Tshireletso.

When quizzed about being top of the log for the first time this season, the assistant coach said the team would take it one game at a time as the team gathers momentum.

"The intention is to take it one game at a time and hopefully we will try to keep up with our winning ways, and we will see where that leaves us," he said.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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