Majombolo’s wait for a win continues
Nico United’s winless start to the season continued in Ghetto on Saturday, pegged back by BDF XI in a match both teams will feel they could have won.
It means Majombolo’s wait for a win is up to seven games and counting – a miserable run that leaves the Baby Jombies a point above the bottom and has already cost Coach Wame ‘Pepezino’ Mokoke his job.
With the experienced Patrick Molefe assuming the role of Caretaker Coach, the post-Pepezino era got off to a promising start.
Looking solid at the back and dangerous in attack against a BDF XI who started the day top of the league, Nico took the lead in the 13th minute.
It’s needed something special to beat soldier’s shot-stopper, Kagiso Matlou this season; going into the game, the giant keeper had only conceded twice in seven outings.
Fortunately for Nico, ‘special’ perfectly sums up Comfort Dikupa’s left foot!
Receiving the ball from Kelvin Ndebele on the edge of the area, the technically-gifted former Morupule Wanderers star let loose with a sweet strike, his thunderous effort flying past a motionless Matlau and into the net.
The goal sent Nico’s small but vocal band of travelling supporters scattered inside the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium wild with delight.
There should have been more for the Majombolo faithful to celebrate in a first-half their team dominated, playing some scintillating football.
However, despite coming close on several occasions, they were unable to force the all important second goal. Indeed, anyone who has watched Nico this season will tell you the same thing: they play well but don’t take their chances.
After no-doubt receiving a few choice words from Coach Nelson Setshwane in the dressing room, BDF came out for the second half a team transformed.
With the Selibe Phikwe side tiring in the Ghetto heat, the Army Boy’s superior fitness eventually told.
Just when it seemed Nico might hold on for all three precious points, Matebele’s mounting pressure paid off in the 79th minute.
Given far too much time and space on the ball, right back, Pelontle Lerole floated a cross to substitute, Aobakwe Tshobo, lurking at the back post. From point blank range, Tshobo volleyed home.
At that point, with ten minutes still remaining, it seemed the Camo Boys would go on to claim the win.
However, while they’ve been formidable at the back, BDF have found goals hard to come by this season, averaging less than one a game (Tshobo’s equalizer was only their sixth goal in eight outings!).
And so it proved again, their striker-force unable to find the winner that would have kept them top of the table – much to Setshwane’s frustration, the Coach’s temper boiling over and resulting in a red card, presumably for something he said.
In the end, both had to settle for a point, which on the balance of play was probably a fair result.
Next up for Nico is a huge home game against fellow strugglers Holy Ghost on Saturday – the first of three consecutive fixtures at the Sam Sono Stadium. Failure to beat the Ghosts and, even at this early stage of the season, Nico’s sluggish start will begin to look like a full blown crisis.
BDF, meanwhile, stay in Francistown for a Sunday meeting with high-flying Tafic in a match that pits third against fourth.