Botswana’s title race enters nail biting stretch
By Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone – The Botswana Premiership has entered an interesting final lap after newly crowned Mascom Top 8 champions, Jwaneng Galaxy, drew level at the top with defending champions, Township Rollers.
Rollers faced a potential banana skin when they made the long trip to the central of the country, in Serowe to tackle an unpredictable Miscellaneous on Friday.
After Terrence Mandaza gave them a 46th minute lead, Rollers appeared on course to preserve their two point lead at the top over Galaxy. But the Blues were rocked when Miscellaneous drew level midway, meaning dropped points at a crucial point of the season.
Across the country, 400km away from Serowe, Galaxy took full advantage of the slip, with a slender 1-0 win over a battling Security Systems.
Galaxy’s win pushed them level on 46points with Rollers, both having played 22 games, with eight remaining.
It lays the stage for an intriguing eight weeks ahead, with Rollers facing a tough test this weekend as they play perennial nemesis, Mochudi Centre Chiefs this weekend.
If Rollers slip-up and Galaxy win, the BTC Premiership will have a new leader, going into the final seven weeks of the campaign.
Galaxy are targeting a rare double in only their second season in the top flight, while Rollers are out to prevent a barren season.
With only two competitions to fight for and one already in the bag for Galaxy, it is all to play for in the league for Rollers, the country’s most successful team.
Orapa United also stayed within touching distance of the leading duo after a 4-2 win over Nico United left them seven points off the pace.
While Galaxy are looking good to go all the way and re-arrange Botswana football’s standing order, at the bottom it continues to look gloom for Nico United, Mahalapye United Hotspurs and Green Lovers.
But Sankoyo Bush Bucks, Gilport Lions and Miscellaneous are very much still facing the guillotine.
What would traditionally be a season defining fixture between fading giants, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United, ended in a drab 1-1 draw on Sunday with few fans bothering to watch the match.
Both sides have been dominant in recent seasons, but have hit turbulence for most of the season, with financial constraints, the bane that has poisoned their campaigns.
The two teams are outside the top eight with Chiefs ninth on 28points while GU are a rung below with the same number of points but with an inferior goal difference.