This week’s draw of the Mascom Top 8 soccer championship semi finals will deliver at least one crowd puller to the grand finale scheduled for May 18. The Tse di Tona 2013 edition’s last four will slug it out on the weekend of April 13 and 14, with Gaborone city rivals Township Rollers and Gaborone United looking to set the stage alight in one of the clashes, while league champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs will entertain unpredictable army side BDF XI.
All eyes will be on defending champions Township Rollers, whose supporters’a dream final with rivals Gaborone United has effectively been deferred as one of the two sides will be eliminated over the two-legged semi-finals.
Rollers were recently joined by billionaire Jagdish Shah of the CA Sales fame, who last year offered the players an incentive of P10000 per goal during the finals to be shared among the players, and further forked out P300000 after Rollers beat ECCO 3-1 in that game. United, however, have their own version of same in the mould of businessman Nicolas Zackhem who too made it possible for his side to be counted among the best when it comes to motivating players.
Since he came in as the major shareholder, players are paid well and have decent accommodation and drive in style for both practice and official matches.
It has never been easy to predict the outcome between Rollers and United. This year they have officially met twice during the premier league encounters and GU turned the tables as they managed to collect four points after having won the first round match and drew in the second.
Last year, Rollers did as they so pleased against their arch rivals including sending the selfsame United tumbling out of the semi-finals and later became the first side to engrave their name on lucrative competition’s cup that carries a P1 million prize.
Elsewhere, the star-studded Chiefs fully understand that by having been drawn against BDF XI could be tantamount to a case of a poacher who has fallen into an ambush of the military anti-poaching unit.The army side boasts of having a formidable line up, and has always made life difficult for Chiefs.
Fresh on the latter’s ardent supporters’ minds will be the embarrassing 4-1 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks-based side during the first round of the past season. Although down and out of the competition, the army team’s cousins Mogoditshane Fighters demonstrated that Chiefs are beatable as they convincingly walloped them 3-1 during the first leg of the quarterfinals only to lose 5-4 in aggregate after the second leg.
The grand return of Louis Sarafina Setshwane to the BDF XI technical team might also motivate the army side to another victory against their more fancied side, as the club’s former midfielder has been working very closely from the background with the incumbent coach and a former Chiefs player Letang Kgwengwenyane. The losing semi-finalists will make away with P200 000.