GABORONE — Madinda Ndlovu’s Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi) came inches to clinching their first beMobile Premier League trophy after overcoming fellow title hopefuls Gaborone United (GU) 1-0 in a rather dull encounter played at the University of Botswana (UB) Stadium on Sunday.
Pontsho Moloi scored in the 51st minute finishing a corner to grant Magosi maximum points and move them to 54 points, nine ahead of second-placed Township Rollers after 21 matches.
Despite both teams having some of the best-assembled squads in the league, the match failed to live up to expectations.
The entire Magosi family rightfully celebrated the hard-fought win as referee Lekgotla Johannes blew the final whistle. Chiefs’ popularly vociferous fans, who have lately labelled any of their opposition “umbrella”, burst into song and dance congratulating the players after the game.
Both teams approached the game cautiously failing to create any chances in the opening minutes of the match.
The game’s first real chance fell to GU’s Zambian striker Makundika Sakala in the 23rd minute, but he fluffed shooting wide from inside the goal area.
Ofentse Nato also came close with a header in the 33rd minute connecting a free-kick by Sageby Sandaka.
United suffered a blow in the 38th minute when goalkeeper Noah Maposa had to be substituted after colliding with Kekaetswe Moloi in a tussle inside the box. After being attended by medics inside the field for over 10 minutes, the Zebras’ number two could not continue with the match and was replaced by Neo Kenalemang.
The match went for the break tied at 0-0. Moloi, who was on his own element escaped his marker to pounce home a corner in the 51st minute scoring the only goal that separated the two teams.
GU mentor Elvis Chiweshe roped in some fresh legs in Ronald Chikomo and Mandla Mgadla to add pace to his attack, but to no avail.
They managed to pile pressure on Chiefs’ defence in the final minutes of the game, but like true champions Magosi hung on to their slim lead right to the end. Goalkeeper Wrist Sephekolo tipped off a dangerously swerving corner on the 89th minute to deny United a draw. — Mmegi