Crack the whip

Portia Mlilo
IN FOR A ROUGH RIDE: GU squeaked past angels in the last round

City Polar set sights on bringing GU down

Sparkling in the Debswana First Division South, this Sunday, CrackIt City Polar will put their promotion push aside for 90 minutes as they set their targets on one of the giants of Botswana football: Gaborone United.

The last 16 Orange FA Cup meeting with two-time defending champions GU is by far the biggest game in the club’s 13-year history.

Until last year, City Polar were just another little-known team struggling to escape the Kgatleng Regional League.

Then CrackIt came along and everything changed.

The tuition centre took over the Ramonaka-based side before swiftly buying Gilport Lions’ First Division status after they were relegated from the Premier League.

It has been a dream debut season in the second tier for CrackIt, who gave their chances of automatic promotion a big boost at the weekend with a 1-0 victory over league leader’s Matabele FC – a club that has previous with GU, having pushed the Money Machine all the way in last year’s semi-final, eventually losing out 2-1 after extra time!

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The result cracked the gap between City Polar and Matabele to just two points in what is a fascinating four-way shootout in the south, with VTM and Notwane heavily involved as well.

With a further four games still to be played, the top four are separated by just four points, setting up the league run-in for an epic ending!

Speaking to Voice Sport this week, City Polar Coach, Thabo Booster Mothibi stressed that although taking on Moyagoleele was a daunting prospect, confidence in the camp was sky high after their morale-boosting Matabele win.

“Every player is taking part during training and everyone wants to play this game. We started training on Tuesday and all the players will be available for selection,” revealed Mothibi, whose team has tasted defeat just once all season and secured their dream date with GU by beating Broadhurst United 2-0 in the round of 32.

“It is also not difficult to plan for it because we always watch GU playing almost every weekend either at the stadium or on television and we know their style of play. We have nothing to lose and I told my boys to go all out and play their game. There is less pressure on our side. Our ambition is to play in the elite league next season so this is our first test of what to expect in terms of competition,” added Mothibi.

For his part, GU Coach, Pontsho Moloi goes into the potential banana skin minus four major players due to suspension. The quartet of: Mothusi Johnson, Mpho Kgaswane, Onkabetse Makgantai and Thero Setsile will all miss the match having picked up three yellow cards through the season.

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Although he admitted this was a blow, Moloi, whose team needed penalties to see off Eleven Angels in the last round, was quick to highlight the Money Machine’s strength in depth.

“Of course some of our key players’ absence will affect our plan but I believe the available players are capable and they will deliver. As the defending champions, we know what to expect because every opponent doubles their effort,” noted the GU Head Coach, whose side seem to have shrugged off their mid-season wobble and are now unbeaten in their last five games, winning four of them.

Licking his lips in anticipation at the weekend encounter, which kicks off at the Lobatse Sports Complex at 1530hrs, Moloi concluded, “I watched them playing on Sunday just to get a picture of what to expect and I must say they will give us an entertaining game.”

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