Defending champ’s tear Angels apart
The stars came out to play in Ghetto on Tuesday night, as defending BPL champions, Jwaneng Galaxy dazzled under the lights to hit Eleven Angels for six.
On a bitterly cold evening at the Obed Itani Chilume stadium, Galaxy brought the heat, sizzling in the second city to hand Lekgamu La Bananyana their biggest beating in the top flight.
Before the midweek mauling, Seemo Mpatane’s minnows had never lost a Premier League game by more than two goals; indeed, last season, in their debut at this level, Angels did not concede more than twice in any of their matches.
It was a record Galaxy destroyed with brutal efficiency.
As the home fans packed the main stand, eager to see their young heroes take on the top team in the land, dreams of another famous Angels’ upset almost got off to the perfect start.
Xolani Thebe Mmolawa had the ball in back of the net in the third minute, his celebrations cut short by the linesman’s flag, the forward’s close range finish rightly ruled out for off-side.
Mmolawa should have ignored his striker’s instinct and left the ball well alone as it was going in anyway!
From thinking they were one up, Angels found themselves two down within 11 minutes, undone by twin long range shots of the highest quality.
First, Gift Moyo rifled a rocket into the bottom corner, his low drive whistling past Tambani Bachopi’s despairing dive.
Moments later, Daniel Msendami made it two, the Zimbabwean firing an arrow that swerved unerringly into the top corner.
Stung, Angels stuck to their attacking game plan, hunting a comeback against a side oozing with confidence having beaten Township Rollers just three days earlier.
They got their reward just before the half-hour mark, Ofentse Mbaiwa bundling the ball in after good work from Mmolawa down the left.
What followed was a breathtaking 15 minutes of football, the action flying from one end to the other like a basketball match.
Both teams had chances to score, but it was Angels who grabbed the next goal, equalizing on the stroke of half-time.
Just like they did in a 2-1 win against Holy Ghost at the weekend, Lekgamu La Bananyana struck direct from a corner.
Combining skill with the elements, captain, Bakang Mpatane made the most of the windy conditions, curling his set-piece round Karabo Gaolebale in the Galaxy goal.
Although brilliant from Bakang, Gaolebale, in for the suspended, Goitseone Phoko, will feel he should have done better.
It signaled the end of an absorbing first 45, an excellent advert for local football.
Sadly, the contest went from an even, gripping encounter to an execution in the second 45, Galaxy ripping Angels ruthlessly apart.
With the wind now against then, exhausted from their first half exertions, Angels just couldn’t get going after the break.
They held out for 13 minutes before Thatayaone Ramatlapeng, who caused Angels countless problems with his trickery down the left, picked out Moyo with a pinpoint cross. Unmarked, from five yards out, Moyo was never going to miss.
Already teetering, the goal broke Angels’ resistance.
Zebras star, Thabang Sesinyi added two more, converting coolly from the spot after he was brought down by a tiring Kefilwe Sekgophi, and then flashing home a clinical finish.
Adding a final dagger, substitute, Cleopas Dube completed the route in stoppage time, chipping the keeper after being played clean through, with not a defender in sight.
By that point, Prince Bojang had assumed the gloves for Angels, taking over from the unfortunate Bachopi, who broke a finger when making a routine save.
It capped a second-half showing that stunned Angels’ boisterous supporters into silence; they will need to find their voices again soon, starting with a tough trip down south to take on newly promoted VTM.
The result briefly took Galaxy top of the table – on this sort of form, few would bet against them being there again at the end of the season!
HOW THEY SAW IT
“It’s obviously disappointing but these results can happen in football – look at Brazil losing 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup!
It was clear the boys were tiring at the end; we played a tough game on Saturday and didn’t have enough time to prepare for this one. No excuses though, we will pick the lads up and go again against VTM at the weekend.”
“Without demanding too much from the team, I really believe that we could have done better. Perhaps we were slightly fatigued from Saturday’s game where we covered a lot of ground. I’m not happy with the way we conceded.
I’m pleased with how we came back in the second half; we played well, were very aggressive and connected in the areas we were supposed to.