A diamond affair

Portia Mlilo
UNABLE TO STRIKE: Kebatho (r) has been out with an injured toe

Glory and revenge add extra sparkle to Orapa vs Galaxy

Table-topping Jwaneng Galaxy will be eying both glory and revenge when they take on their diamond brother’s Orapa United at the Itekeng on Saturday.

Five points clear of Gaborone United with just three games to go, Galaxy can take a huge stride towards their second championship with victory in Boteti.

Indeed, three points for Galaxy would guarantee them the title if GU fail to win their match against Township Rollers.

- Advertisement -
A diamond affair
League table

The trophy, and with it a P750, 000 pay-day, is within touching distance for Coach, Morena Ramoreboli’s troops; how they would love to get their hands on it in their archrival’s den – a rival that knocked them out the Orange FA Cup just two weeks ago.

With the score locked at 0-0 after 90 minutes, penalties were needed to separate the two sides when they met in Jwaneng a fortnight ago, Orapa holding their nerve from the spot to secure a place in the semi-finals.

Another close encounter is expected.

The two teams go into the crunch clash missing key personal due to suspension. Orapa will be without centre back, Thato Kebue, while Galaxy will be minus Benson Kitso Mangolo in midfield after the pair picked up one yellow card too many.

After six wins on the bounce, Orapa blew any faint hopes they had of mounting a late title challenge with a surprise 1-0 loss to Morupule Wanderers last Saturday.

Galaxy, meanwhile, returned to winning ways, beating Police XI 1-0 to end a two-game winless streak.

- Advertisement -

Another interesting sub-plot is the race for the golden boot.

The Ostriches star man, Omaatla ‘Dunga’ Kebatho leads the way with 20 goals but has been sidelined for the last five weeks with a nagging toe injury – a problem that has ruled him out of the Galaxy game.

Keen to cash in on Kebatho’s absence, and retain the top-scorer award he won last season, Galaxy marksman, Thabang Sesinyi is second on the list with 17 goals, while Kebatho’s teammate, Lemogang Maswena, is a strike behind on 16.

A diamond affair
GOAL MACHINE: Thabang Sesinyi is looking to defend the golden boot

Speaking to Voice Sport, Kebatho said he went to see a specialist last week and the doctor ruled him out of action for another two weeks.

“It has been a hell of a month watching my team playing from the stands and other players closing the gap. A very painful situation but I have to focus on my recovery. I got injured during training and I thought it was a minor injury. I did a scan and there is no fracture but my toe is painful. I have started light training this week and hopefully I will be able to play the last two league games and the FA Cup. I leave everything to God. If it is meant to be, I will make it,” he said.

- Advertisement -

For his part, Galaxy Coach, Ramoreboli praised his players for remaining focused throughout the season.

“We are expecting a tough game. In our previous game against Police, my boys gave their all and showed character. They are organised, disciplined and adapt well. Our interest is more on points and with this attitude it is possible that we can win all the remaining games to collect nine points. This is the team we lost against in the FA cup quarter finals on penalties and they are always tough opponents. Orapa is a good side and this is going to be an exciting and entertaining diamond teams’ game,” declared Ramoreboli, whose team beat Orapa 1-0 in the recerse fixture back in November; what he wouldn’t give for a repeat of that scoreline on Saturday!

Leave a comment