Zapata, Mafu in tactical warfare

Kabelo Gadise - BG correspondent
Monday, 05 December 2016
Zapata, Mafu in tactical warfare

The eagerly anticipated clash between BTC Premiership giants Gaborone United and Mochudi Center Chiefs at the National Stadium this Saturday is expected to be a tactical showdown between two foreign coaches.

Both Zapata and Mafu come into the game with their reputations on the line. GU’s Rudolf Zapata and Chiefs’ Bongani Mafu are both hard pressed to bring positive results to their respective teams. The 12th man is also expected to be factor in this mouth-watering encounter. The Moyagoleele faithful have been restless and growing increasingly anxious on Zapata’s poor run of form, while Magosi mentor Mafu has gathered praise after recently vanquishing Township Rollers 3-2 over the weekend.

In their last fixture, Zapata’s charges were pegged back to position 10 after losing 2-1 against BTC Premiership rookies, Security Systems. This result has left the fans even more agitated with the coach. The enigmatic Argentine has since adapted a brilliant play of short passing and high pressing, which has been fruitless in front of goalposts thus far.

Zapata may run the risk of being too predictable and as he will be expected to deploy the same tactics against Magosi. Zapata’s attacks are likely to start from the back with two explosive wingbacks in Karabo Phiri occupying the left back and Jackson Lesole on the right. Crucial crosses are expected to flow towards the prolific striker Moatlhodi Ralesotla who has been impetuous in front of the goal area.

Zapata is likely to place all his bets on influential and reliable attacker Mpho Kgaswane. However, it remains to be seen whether the player will be given a free role behind the striker, which can be destructive to the Magosi defense. Kgaswane’s role will be to delay play and allow the inviting runs from Ralesotla.

Kgaswane can also pounce on any missed opportunities by the strikers. Moyagolele now is a place behind Magosi in the log standings. A win for both sides will move them closer to position six, which will see the two teams edge closer to the top of the log. On the other hand, Bongani Mafu has recently redeemed himself among the Magosi faithful.

Beating bitter rivals Rollers will ensure that supporters flock the National Stadium to see Magosi validate their position and status by beating another fierce rival in GU. Magosi’s performance over the weekend saw them rise above Moyagolele on the log to occupy the 9th position.

The Zimbabwean mentor will depend on the same antics he employed against Rollers last weekend. Mafu will be expected to congest his midfield deploying Arnold Mampori, Lesego Molemogi, Lesego Galenamothale and Dirang Moloi; the congested midfield will shut down the shot passes adopted by Moyagolele.

The hefty midfield will play long through balls to the quick youngster Thatayaone Ramatlapeng and the wingers Ayanda Molefhe and Remington Masuku.The wingers will look to occupy the spaces left by the adventurous Moyagolele full backs and play cutbacks to Dirang Moloi who always run late into the attacking area.

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