The expression which says ‘when two bulls fight it is the grass that suffers’ suitably befit exactly what will happen at the Francistown Stadium on Mach 3, 2018. This is the date set for the Mascom Top 8 final which will see Township Rollers take on arch rivals Orapa United. The rivalry between the two former Top 8 champions will be rekindled as they battle it out for the P1.3 Million grand price.
While the Mascom Top 8 final never ceases to amaze, this encounter is expected to create and display fireworks for football lovers. Looking currently at their performance in the cup Rollers and Orapa are evenly matched which make it hard to predict who will emerge victorious in the final. Soccer analyst Jimmy George said for a team to reach the finals of the Mascom Top 8 competition it shows the strength of that team. According to George, Mascom Top 8 is not like any other competition as it tests the endurance and strength of teams. “So the teams that reach the final reflect the kind of strength they have. The game between Rollers and Orapa therefore is very close to call, anyone can win it,” he said. He said the game will only be won on the day of the match and it will be how fit the players are that will determine which team wins. However, George said that Rollers will be missing two of its key strikers on the day might come as a disadvantage to them. He said both teams are well-balanced but because of this Orapa might have a slight upper hand. He put his head on the block, declaring that on a 51/49 percent Orapa United will emerge victorious. Just like George another football analyst Fabian Zulu was quoted as saying the game will be won by the brilliance of the play on the day. Normally the Mascom Top 8 games are won through the tactical awareness of the coaches. The two, however, agree that the match will produce fireworks.
What makes it interesting?
For starters, the two teams will enter the game with everything to lose as they both will want to prove a point or two to each other. It was Orapa United that denied Rollers the championship during the 2015/16 season, beating them 3-1 to take the trophy. This encounter therefore provides an opportunity for Rollers to retaliate. Furthermore it has been a long time since Rollers won this cup. The Blue Nation, as Rollers are known to its supporters, last won this cup in the 2011/2012 season. The team therefore will be playing for redemption. When the season started Rollers spokesperson Bafana Pheto revealed that their mandate was to win all local silverware on offer. It is for this reason that Coach Nikola Kavazovic’s charges will be fighting with their all to beat Orapa United so that they put one trophy in the cabin.
Orapa United will come into the game with the aim of proving that their 2016 win over Rollers was no fluke. With the league proving somewhat difficult for the Boteti region outfit, Top 8 presents a better chance for them to have silverware and so they will take all the fight to Rollers. In addition, the technical team led by Bongani Mafu and Daniel Nare want to win their first ever Top 8 final so they will work extra hard. With only Gaborone United being the only team to have won this championship twice, Orapa United will be looking to equal this record. The mine town players also are said to have been promised large sums of money if they win which will bring a great motivation for them.