Chiefs keeper vows to stop rampaging Ecco strikers
ECCO FACE CHIEFS TEST
For the second time in consecutive weeks Centre Chiefs face table- topping opposition when they lock horns with Ecco City Greens on Saturday.
Narrowly defeated by Rollers last week, the Mochudi side will be out to restore lost pride and re-establish their credentials as serious contenders for league honours.
It will be no easy task. Since ECCO were promoted to the elite league six seasons ago they have always been a tough nut to crack. Added to that the game is at the UB stadium, which has not proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Kgatleng outfit. Six of the eight points they have dropped this season have been at the UB ground.
Last season ECCO were marginally the better side, winning the second round encounter in a seven-goal thriller when they put four past Chiefs. They had played to a 1-1 draw in the first round.
The irony is that should Chiefs win, they will be doing archrivals Rollers a big favour. By kick off Rollers will have already played their encounter against BDF XI, and any points dropped will be a huge incentive for Ecco to capitalise and knock them off the top spot.
Chiefs captain and Zebras goal minder, Noah Maposa is the man they will have to beat if they are to succeed.
Of the games he has played against ECCO Maposa told Voice Sport that he has been red carded twice.
”I am now the captain of the team, so I have added responsibilities. Hopefully I won’t do anything silly. When I got sent off before it was in the heat of the moment, so I will have to control my emotions.
“It is bound to be a tough game. I have conceded only seven goals in eight this season, which is not a bad average, and despite the loss to Rollers we are not under pressure. Just wait – we can be the first team to beat ECCO,” Maposa predicted.
Chiefs favourite Pontsho Moloi is also confident of victory against ECCO. “I am now getting back to my full fitness so this could be the time to show my true colours. I know I will play well and help Chiefs win,” Moloi said.
Another on-form striker who has been recalled to the national team, Moemedi Jomo Moatlhaping told Voice Sport that as a way of cementing his Zebras call-up, he has to score against ECCO.
”It is no doubt that I am slowly re-discovering my old form; I have to show it against this Francistown team. I know I will have a good game because I look sharp even at training Just watch as we mesmerise them.
“I already have five goals and want to increase my tally. I can only hope that the referee doesn’t give them a penalty this time as they have had too many this season,” Moatlhaping said.
But whilst the Chiefs keeper was claiming that ECCO’s menacing in form marksman Bonolo Fraizer was not a threat, the striker had other ideas.
“Maposa will be seeing stars come Saturday. We always play well against them. The only time I had a bad game against Chiefs was in last seasons Coke Cup where I missed a penalty in regulation time and during the shoot-out. That will never happen again. On Saturday I will make sure that if Maposa does manage to stop a shot, both he and the ball will end up in the back of the net.
We have been training together with the Zebras and I have spotted his weaknesses. It is a pity we will miss our fourth striker Patrick Lenyeletse who is serving a suspension, but we are all capable of scoring against Chiefs,” Fraizer told Voice Sport
The league’s current leading goal scorer with nine goals, Malepa Bolelang is happy to play Chiefs whilst he is in his current form.
“I always have a good match against Chiefs and I have never failed to score. We prepare differently for each game, and we have done our homework on how to defeat Chiefs. Obviously I would love to score against them, and if we create enough chances it must be a possibility.
“We want to keep our unbeaten record intact. We have had a very good start to the league and the last time we started like this we went all the way and became champions,” Malepa said.
As a skipper he has also been tasked with taking all penalties. Against Rollers he scored two, and last weekend in Phikwe he netted from the spot again.
”It is not like scoring from a penalty is a forgone conclusion. It still takes skill and I practice them so I am confident and will continue taking the responsibility. We are on form and morale is high in camp. We must be doing something right – it is not luck. The only muti we use is hard work and it is paying dividends,” he said.
When Saturday comes, the talking stops, and actions on the field will speak louder than any words.