Nico United has frog leaped early league pacesetters Mochudi Centre Chiefs and are now leading the log for the first time, even though it could last for just 10 hours.
United currently lead the log with 47 points; one point ahead of Chiefs who however have three games in hand.
Chiefs could be back on top by end of Thursday night should they defeat troubled Tafic FC.
Wednesday’s result meant that injury rocked ECCO City Greens missed the chance to make up ground on the top three after being held to a heartbreaking 2-2 draw by an equally success hungry NICO United at the Francistown stadium.
Promising Omaatla Kebatho had given the home side an early lead but the Elijah Chikwanda coached outfit came back a stronger team in the second half to score two goals and briefly took the lead before ECCO leveled in the dying minutes of the game.
Atshele Molapi, the ECCO head coach and his charges went for the breather leading after Kebatho found the back of the net in the 35th minute.
While many were of the belief that the home side will defend the one goal lead, NICO found the equalizer through Topo Piet with only ten minutes into the second half. Chikwanda’s boys found the second goal in the 70th minute.
After finding a cushion goal, the visitors became defensive, which invited Ecco to go on the offensive and look for that equalizing goal.
Their persistence finally paid in the last five of the game through the boot of Tendai Nyumasi.
It was a missed opportunity for ECCO after their closet rivals in Gaborone United won their game 5-2 against unpredictable Mogoditshane Fighters at a game played at the Molepolole Sports complex on Tuesday night.
But it had started well when Dunga, as Kebatho is popularly known in football circles buried a pass from Zecco Makafiri, who had been played by Lesego Lubinda.
Kebatho clinically finished a ball despite being surrounded by close to four NICO defenders.
Moikothai Onkutule, in the ECCO goalposts made his first on the 10th minute saving Bonolo Fraizer’s low drive down to his left.
The game swerved from one end to the other but a combination of the two goalkeepers’ acrobatics and missed opportunities that resulted in the two teams playing to a 2-2 draw.
In a post match interview, both coaches admitted that it was a missed opportunity for either of the sides to increase their respective chances to win the championship.
“This is a blow to the team’s aspirations. We could be sitting at third position if we had won this game,” lamented Molapi in an interview. Gaborone United’s victory against Mogoditshane Fighters has guaranteed the Reds third position with 44 points out of 23 outings.
For NICO, it is also a blow. The Selibe-Phikwe based outfit had looked to keep pressure on the log pacesetters, Mochudi Centre Chiefs. But a 3-2 loss to Township Rollers and a draw against ECCO will have a negative impact on them in their fight for honors.