Ostriches in FA Cup goal drought

Baitshepi Sekgweng

Orapa United are on a cruise to win the 2023 edition of Orange FA Cup having found some reprieve to beat Masitaoka FC 4-2 on penalties to advance to the finals after suffering a 5-0 defeat in the hands of Jwaneng Galaxy earlier in the domestic league.

Now set to meet another high flying side in Gaborone United (GU)which is also seeking some silverware and looking to defend the title they won last year, the Ostriches are on mission to clinch the cup for the second time.

Despite reaching the finals which is a quite an achievement for the team, Orapa United has struggled badly in front of goal in the cup, only managing a single goal in open play against Nico United during the last 32 encounter.

The other three matches were all decided on penalties showcasing a run of three games without finding the back of the net.

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This is despite having lethal attackers such as Omaatla Kebatho and Lemogang Maswena who have been banging goals this season.

In the last 16 round, United did play to a goalless draw against Extension Gunners with the match decided by penalties and “The Ostriches” claiming a 4-2 victory.

Against Jwaneng Galaxy and Masitaoka in the quarterfinals and semi finals, matches were also decided via spot kicks with United wining 3-1 and 4-2 respectively following goalless draws.

Though Orapa United is failing to score goals in the FA Cup, they have been high flying in the domestic league with the highest record of goal scored.

Following 28 matches in the league campaign, Orapa United have netted in 64 goals altogether.

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This is further characterized by huge margin wins, with 8-1 drubbing of Mogoditshane Fighters and 4-2 defeat of GU being standout results.

In an interview with Voice Sport, Orapa United head coach Tawurayi Mangwiro said he is not worried by his team’s poor goal scoring form in the cup.

“These are typical cup contests which by nature are not easy. Spot kicks decide games, I have seen even the World Cup won by penalties. Of in course all our games we needed shootout to win, so what appeals to me is the character that the boys display in these kind of games. For me penalties are part of the match, so I can’t take away anything from the team and i’m not worried at all. We have only one goal but in the league we are the highest scoring team with Galaxy and GU all behind us,” said Mangwiro.

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However, meeting GU on the final on the 10th of June, Orapa’s poor goal run might be a problem for them since Pontsho Moloi’s boys have been delivering in front of goals.

From the four games played, “Moyagoleele” has scored eight goals with six of those coming against Fighters during the quarterfinals.

Only two of their matches versus Crackit City Polar(1-1) and Eleven Angels(0-0) were decided via spot kicks with “The Reds” prevailing 3-0 and 4-2 respectively.

Having won the first edition in 2019, Orapa United will be seeking their second title of the domestic cup while GU on the other hand is on a hunt for the third title in a row, having won the last two editions.

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