Return of the reds

Kitso Ramono
WE'RE BACK BABY! Tafic players and management celebrate

Tafic promoted after three years of pain

Francistown’s blundering giant’s Tafic FC confirmed their promotion back to the Premier League in style on Saturday, seeing off Motlakase Power Dynamos to end three years of pain for their long-suffering fans.

In front of a boisterous crowd at the Obed Itani Chilume stadium, it was fitting that top scorer, Modise Modipe grabbed the only goal of the game on his return to action after a month out with injury.

It was the high-flying forward’s 11th strike of the campaign, his first with Tafic after joining from Mexican Dogs in pre-season, and proved enough to put out Motlakase’s spark.

Return of the reds
PUSHING FORWARD: Tafic beat Motlakase 1-0 to seal the title

Going into the clash, the penultimate game of the season, Matjimenyenga knew a point would be enough to seal the Debswana First Division North championship and with it automatic ascension to the elite league.

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Adopting a 4-4-2 formation, Tafic controlled proceedings from the start, looking particularly dangerous down the wings, with Modipe and his strike partner, Nicholas Batlang seeing plenty of the ball.

Return of the reds
EYE ON THE BALL: Action from Saturday

Denied by some last ditch defending and a goalkeeper on top of his game, the Reds had to wait until the 38th minute for their goal, which came courtesy of a clinical Modipe finish.

The 28-year-old hitman took his chance superbly, bouncing back well having missed a glorious opportunity earlier in the game.

Indeed, despite his impressive goal-tally, if there’s one criticism of Modipe this season it’s that he’s been slightly wasteful in front of goal – something he’ll have to improve on in the top flight, where chances are likely to be at a premium.

The second-half was a more even affair, Motlakase making three changes that altered the complexion of the match.

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However, they could not force an equalizer and spoil the party, the final whistle being met by a roar of delight from the home fans and players alike.

For Chairman, Tumelo Toteng, a return to the Premier League after three years away represents the reward of a well-executed plan.

Return of the reds
PROMISING MORE: Toteng has big plans for the Reds

“What’s happening here is not a miracle or luck, it’s something that was carefully planned from the start of the season,” said the youthful Chair, adding this was just the beginning.

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“We have a three-year plan, today we achieved our first-year plan which is gaining promotion. Second-year aim is to compete in the Premier League and finish in the top six and our third-year plan is to challenge for the title,” declared a euphoric Toteng.

Whatever happens from here, one thing’s for sure: it has been a year to remember for the Tafic faithful!

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