No Phil, no problem!

Kitso Ramono
PONTSHO MOLOI & KOPANELO MALIKE

TAFIC brush coaching woes aside to stun GU

On Tuesday, TAFIC parted ways with their head coach, Phillimon Makwengwe.

Whether he was pushed – ‘Da Phil’ insists he was sacked – or whether he jumped – the club maintain he quit – remains unclear.

One thing is certain, however: on Wednesday afternoon, Matjimenyenga left their coaching woes firmly behind them, putting in an inspired display to beat Championship-chasing Gaborone United 2-1.

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For the second mid-week fixture in a row, the Reds hosted a title-contender from down south.

Seven days ago, they lost out to Jwaneng Galaxy at the Obed Itani Stadium, sunk on Valentine’s Day by a last minute, Thabang Sesinyi heartbreaker. By all accounts, TAFIC deserved at least a point from the encounter.

A week later, the action moved to the Old Francistown Stadium, the floodlights swapped for the sun as the capital city slickers arrived in Ghetto looking to cut the gap to table-topping Galaxy to seven points.

Instead, GU left with nothing, outplayed by a wounded TAFIC hungry for their first win after two losses and a draw.

With the fans turning up in impressive numbers on a working day, they were treated to an entertaining encounter on a pitch the Mayogoleele management insisted was unfit for Premier League football.

Despite their protests, play went ahead, with both sides showing attacking intent and decent build-up play only to be let down by wayward finishing in the final third.

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That all changed after the break.

Just two minutes after the resumption, Thabiso Bante was played clean through on goal, smashing a hot shot with all his might that gave GU gloveman, Thabo Motsagole no chance.

It was double delight for the TAFIC faithful moments later, Onkabetse Makganthai popping up to haunt his former employers with a clinical header from Congo teenager, Nyembo Aime’s cross.

It was the second time in five days Makganthai has returned to hurt his exes, having scored the equalizer against Orapa United in a 1-1 draw at the weekend.

In Boteti, the striker was mute in his celebrations. There was no such respect shown to GU, Makganthai making sure everyone in the stadium knew just how happy he was to score.

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Stung, the Money Machine went into all out attack mode. Their pressure paid off almost immediately, Tlhalefang ‘Danger’ Molaodi seeing his shot well saved by TAFIC keeper, Katlego Mbise, only for the rebound to bounce off the unfortunate Thamani Muzila for an own goal.

It capped a mad nine-minute spell containing three goals with the promise of plenty more to come.

However, although they had over half-an-hour to force an equalizer, GU failed to strike again, TAFIC’s defence withstanding the onslaught to hold on for a historic win.

The result takes the Reds of Francistown up to 5th in the table while the Reds of Gaborone remain 3rd, ten points adrift of league leaders Galaxy at the halfway point of the season.

HOW THEY SAW IT:

KOPANELO MALIKE
“We needed this result, especially after what we went through this week. After losing someone who is like a father to you, we had to sit down with the players and shape them mentally. They were motivated and it showed in their performance.”

PONTSHO MOLOI
“For us it was a game where we pushed, tried to score goals and win, but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough. We pushed hard on a truly terrible pitch; it was always going to be difficult for us to get our game gong in these type of conditions.”

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