Down to the wire!

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 15 May 2018   |   By Ditiro Motlhabane
Down to the wire!

       BTC Premiership champion to be decided in the last game

       Rollers in Tunisia to play Esperance in CAF Championship

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       Galaxy, Township Rollers neck on neck -separated by two points

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BTC premiership title hopefuls Jwaneng Galaxy are lying in wait for defending champions Township Rollers to return from their group stage CAF Championship encounter against Esperance of Tunisia on Sunday, for the last fixture to decide the champion of the 2017/18 season.

In that fixture, to be played at the same time, Galaxy will take on struggling Mochudi Centre Chiefs while T/Rollers will face relegation threatened Extension Gunners. Both games will have supporters on the edge of their seats for the 90 minutes until the last whistle, while thousands others will be glued to their radio and television sets. The stakes are too high! For both teams, it is near yet too far. Any slight slip-up will hand the trophy to the rival.  With both teams in scintillating form, it is too close to call.  

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Football lovers were on Thursday treated to a mouth-watering prelude to the final clash when the two title contenders outclassed their opponents in fixtures played in Jwaneng and Serowe sports complex, against different opponents. Against relegation threatened Security Systems, Galaxy did not leave anything to chance and made their intentions clear when they drew the first blood in the third minute of the game converting a penalty to take the lead. Shortly thereafter on-form Tebogo Sembowa -who scored a hat trick on the day-, extended the lead to 2-0 sending a spine chilling fever down the spine of T/Rollers fans around the country.  The game finished 4-2 in favour of Galaxy, but it was too little too late as the result only served to preserve the status quo. They remain rooted in second spot two points behind Mapalastina, who are running away with the title. 

Even as Galaxy was crushing Systems in Jwaneng, T/Rollers remained confident of a good result in Serowe as the team was firing with all cylinders from the word go. Popa mounted attack after attack, burying the Miscellaneous goalie under an avalanche of shots at goal. By far the best player in the Miscellaneous line-up, the goalkeeper was equal to the task and his acrobatics ensured that the Serowe based side did not concede on numerous occasions. Clearly determined to cement their fourth place position in the BTC Premiership log, Miscellaneous stubbornly held T/Rollers to a scoreboard which read 0-0 at recess. This was despite the Mascom Top 8 Champions piling pressure on their hosts, creating a one way traffic that could have easily recorded a ball possession of 85% to Popa and only 15% to Tse Nala. Throughout the first half Miscellaneous could barely string together three to four passes before they were dispossessed by the marauding Township that played like a house on fire. 

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In the second stanza, soon after introduction, Bogosi Nfila opened the scoring for Township Rollers completing a well worked move orchestrated from the midfield by the left boot of Lemponye Tshireletso to the far left from where Edwin Moalusi delivered a swift cross curling away from the goalkeeper. Nfila tapped in past the oncoming keeper, leaving him sprawled on the turf beaten. Two minutes later Joel Mogorosi extended the lead with a free header inside the box, connecting an out-swinger from another perfect corner by Moalusi leaving a group of Miscellaneous defenders rooted to their positions. With Miscellaneous totally outclassed, and out of their depth Moalusi put the game beyond reach when he slotted a third by calmly picking a spot in the far post after receiving a through pass from Mogorosi on the left side of the box after running rounds among a group of poorly positioned defenders. The game ended 3-1 in favour of T/Rollers after Miscellaneous salvaged a consolation goal just before stoppage time.

Relegation

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Meanwhile a dog eat dog fight has ensued at the lower end of the BTC Premiership table as the 2017/18 league campaign comes to a close. By Friday, there were only two games left before relegated teams are confirmed, joining Gilport Lions and Uniao Flamengo Santos who are already relegated and ply their trade in the first division in the 2018/19 season.

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Security Systems of Gaborone, Maun based Sankoyo Bush Bucks, and Francistown side Tafic are the other candidates for relegation. Sankoyo were scheduled to attempt to save themselves in their backyard playing against relegated Gilport Lions yesterday (Saturday), before they finish the league with a fixture against Police XI in Otse next week. Tafic, with only two points above Sankoyo, were expected to travel to Lobatse to face Extension Gunners on the same day (Saturday). They will close the 2017-2018 campaign against Black Forest at the Francistown Sports Complex on May 19.    



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