*Suspended Makwengwe awaits verdict on his future
Gaborone United are plotting a potentially dangerous heist on the diamond sponsored Orapa United this Saturday afternoon at Itekeng Stadium.
The deadly mission on the Ostriches dump nest will be led by GU’s stand in coach Pontsho ‘Piro’ Moloi, who found himself at the helm of one of the country’s biggest clubs following the controversial suspension of Phillimon Makwengwe a fortnight ago.
Up for grabs are the three valuable points which could see the Reds moving one place up from sixth to fifth.
However, against the current log leaders, the southerners will have their work cut out for them. It will take a tactically astute coach to pinch an ‘egg’ from the jealously guarded Ostriches’ nest.
Moloi will lead his charges into a fortified Itekeng Stadium at 1530hrs, against a side that has conceded just three goals in their last 13 league matches, and have won seven of their last eight outings.
The marauding Ostriches have the best defensive record in the league, conceding only 10 goals in 17 matches played, compared to GU’s 16. They kept a clean sheet – one of 11 so far this season – when the two clubs met at the National Stadium back in November in a close encounter which Orapa eventually clinched 1-0.
Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote’s troops don’t just boast of a steely wall, they’ve been lethal at the other end of the pitch too. Only Defending Champions, Township Rollers who have rattled the net 38 times beats the diamond mining town club’s goal haul of 31.
Moloi, however, was as defiant as ever in an interview with Voice Sport on Wednesday afternoon. The former Zebras star looked unfazed by the challenge in front of him.
“We’re going to Orapa to compete, not to donate points,” was Piro’s blunt response.
“Even though Orapa United are at the summit of the log, we still believe we can get the maximum points because the boys have been hard at work,” he said, adding they are optimistic of finishing the league in a respectable position.
“We need to keep the momentum and collect crucial points in matches like this one and end this season on a high note,” said Moloi.
His opposing number chose to be subtle in his responses. Mpote, whose side played to a one-all draw against Jwaneng Galaxy in the Mascom Top 8 semi-final first leg on Sunday, said he was wary of the danger posed by GU.
“They’re a good side with experienced players who can punish us,” he said.
The former Zebras mentor told Voice Sports that when the season started in August, their ambition was to win the league and everything on offer.
“We’re focused and are ready to fight for maximum points,” declared Mpote.
The tactician said they’ll be counting on the ever cheerful orange sea of supporters to help them overcome an unpredictable Gaborone outfit.
“In football, the 12th player which is the supporters is very crucial, they can win you matches,” added Mpote.
Meanwhile, suspended coach Makwengwe told Voice Sport that he does not expect to to be reinstated as the GU coach.
“I’m still on a fasting period and won’t say much about the situation I’m in. At the moment I don’t know what will happen to me, but I don’t think they’ll reinstate me as Head Coach,” said Makwengwe.
Voice Sport also reached out to the club Manager Thapelo Mothusi who confirmed that the embattled coach remains suspended until the verdict is delivered sometime this week.