The 2017/18 Mascom Top 8 season will certianly be the hardest to predict yet. All the four teams (Gaborone United, Jwaneng Galaxy, Orapa United and Township Rollers) that have made it to the semi finals have won the coveted silverware that comes with a P1,3 million pay cheque after only five games.
Following this year’s Mascom Top 8 semi final draw in Gaborone this past Tuesday, it will remain to be seen which of the teams proceeds to the final. The Mascom Top 8 draw saw Gaborone United pitted against Orapa United while Township Rollers will face Galaxy FC.
Even a fortune teller with a crystal ball will have a hard time predicting which of the teams proceed to the final. On paper, it is Township Rollers who will come in a favourites given their current form.
However, juggling the BTC premiership, CAF champs league and Top 8 might work against undefeated Gaborone giants. Two time Top 8 winners Gaborone United will come in as second favourites given their current form in the league campaign. Nevewrtheless both Orapa United and Jwaneng Galaxy are tough customers when it come to chasing cup glory.
The ‘Money machine’ as GU is affectionately known by its hordes of supporters gained their spot to the semi-finals after walloping Extension Gunners by three goals to two at Francistown Sports complex towards the end of last year. Currently GU are the only team to have won the Mascom Top 8 trophy twice and it will remain to be seen as to whether the on form team will once again enter their names in the history books of local football. GU first won Top 8 trophy back in 2013 afterbeating BDF XI by two goals against one before they ran away with the trophy for the second time after walloping their bitter rivals Township Rollers by yet another two goals against 1 in 2015. It is also worth noting that the MmaMasire based outfit made history to be the very first team to lay its hands on the lucrative trophy when it was first introduced in 2012 only for them to be denied a second chance by Orapa United who drubbed them 3-0 during the 2016 finals.
In the event Gaborone United makes it to the finals, they will rely on their current on form striker Obonwe Maome who single handedly buried Extension Gunners through a hat trick against their two goals at Francistown Sports when the two teams met for their second leg encounter which meant that Moyagoleele proceeded to the semi-finals by a 6-2 goal aggregate.Meanwhile Township Rollers won the Top 8 after beating Ecco City Greens 3-1 during the 2011/12 season. During the 2015/16 season Orapa United beat Rollers 3-1 to win the Top 8 in Francistown. The defending Top 8 champions Jwaneng Galaxy beat Orapa United 4-3 in an absolute Top 8 thriller last season.