ROLLERS/CHIEFS MEET IN A THREE POINTER
Township Rollers are definitely on the march and that might be going through Centre Chiefs’ coach Dragjlo Stanojlovic’s mind when the two teams meet this Sunday at the National Stadium.
The Gaborone giants have gone five months without a loss.
They last tasted defeat last year in September; a 0-1 and 0-2 loss to Extension Gunners and Power Dynamos respectively.
The upsurge from there has been remarkable as Madinda Ndlovu’s charges began to collect points and are currently at the log summit. Although they benefited from fellow contenders BDF XI’s misfortune after the army side was docked points, Ndlovu’s side still showed their worth defeating the former log leaders 2-1 recently.
The two teams have already met three times this season with Rollers emerging victorious in two ties.
Rollers won the first round 2-1 and followed that up with a 3-2 win in the Mascom Top 8 first leg tie.
Chiefs won the Top 8 second leg, but still crashed out of the competition as their nemesis progressed on an away goal rule with the two sides tied at 4-4 on aggregate.
With just two points separating the sides, the Sunday clash is a three pointer.
It will be a day of reckoning for both sides whose last meeting was marred by violence resulting in suspension of some players.
The suspension of Captain Pontsho Moloi affected the team’s progress in the league, and the stocky midfielder should be itching.
Ndlovu was upbeat in an interview with Voice Sport on Wednesday afternoon.
“We will be playing Chiefs for the fourth time this season. We know what to expect,” he said.
The two times league winner with Chiefs said his players are always motivated by the fact that they managed to claw to the league summit: “against all odds.”
“We have weighed each other enough this season.
We respect them as the current Champions but that’s just about it,” said Ndlovu.
Rollers will be boosted by the return from suspension of lanky South African striker Manqoba ‘Shakes’ Ngwenya.
Since his arrival at the Gaborone West outfit, Ngwenya has been a revelation; popping up with important goals for his club.
“He will definitely add strength to our attack.”
“We must keep on believing that we will overcome.
We can’t deny that there is light at the end of the tunnel which will even be brighter should we collect three points this Sunday,” Ndlovu said.
Ndlovu who is chasing his third league title in a row said, should he win it this season it will be something he will cherish for a long time.
While Rollers look like favorites for this encounter Chiefs will definitely go all out to calm the nerves of their very hard to please fans.
Stanojlovic will be worried that he has lost to all the top three league contenders this season. Magosi lost 0-2 and 0-1 to BDF XI and Gaborone United respectively.
They have lost four games in total, their forth a 1-2 piping courtesy of Miscellaneous FC.
Speaking ahead of the all important clash, Chiefs Public Relations Officer Clifford Mogomotsi said the mood in the camp is militant as players and supporters alike are ready for brutal Sunday.
“This is the same mood that engulfed the Chiefs family ahead of the Mascom Top 8 second leg meeting with Rollers. Everyone s psyched,” said Mogomotsi.
The Chiefs spin doctor said the arrival of out of favour former Polokwane FC striker will add to their side’s impetus.
“We have a score to settle. Everyone associated with Chiefs still believe that we should have progressed to the Top 8 semis. This Sunday we are going back to the league summit,” he said.
“We are supercharged,” said Mogomotsi.
Kickoff is at 1600hrs.