UB Hawks up for Galaxy giant-killing

Kitso Ramono
UNITED: The mighty Hawks

An adventure that started in the dusty SSG Grounds has led all the way to the National Stadium for UB Hawks, where the minnows will attempt to sink their talons into the current powerhouse of local football, Jwaneng Galaxy.

Having claimed the scalps of Premier League clubs VTM and Police XI on their way to the Orange FA Cup semi-finals, Hawks have already proved they can pull off a giant-killing.

At the moment, none come bigger than Galaxy!

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The Debswana First Division South side’s path to the semis has been far from simple.

Up against their league rivals, Tlokweng United in the first round, Coach Basimanebotlhe Malete’s men needed penalties to progress, holding their nerve to win the shootout 9-8 after the game finished 1-1 in normal time.

It was a similar story against Notwane in round 2, Hawks again proving hot from the spot as they knocked out Toronto 6-5 on pens following a 1-1 stalemate after 90 minutes.

Incredibly, Hawks prevailed on penalties for a third consecutive cup clash, this time VTM the victims, the scoreline finishing 9-8 after yet another 1-1 draw.

The shocks continued at the weekend, a single goal enough for the UB-side to send Police packing in the quarter-finals.

UB Hawks up for Galaxy giant-killing
CONFIDENT: Coach Alex Malete

With the so-called experts predicting a Galaxy walkover on Saturday (May 02, 2024), writing-off Hawks as no-hopers, dismissing their run as the lucky beneficiaries of an easy draw, Coach Malete insisted such talk did not bother them.

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Confident his charges would prove the doubters wrong, Malete, who first came to prominence as the assistant coach of the women’s national team, told Voice Sport, “All the teams that we played against are bigger teams than us who when we compare our stats, they should be coming out on top.

“Let’s start with Tlokweng United, runners up in their division; then Notwane who have more experience than us, VTM are in the Premier League top eight and Police XI despite not doing well in the league they managed to make it to the FA Cup quarter finals, this should tell you something that we did not have it easy like they say,” said Malete, whose team lost 2-1 to Mogoditshane Fighters in the league on Wednesday and sit 5th in the log, a whopping 17 points behind leaders Young Stars.

Setting his sights on Galaxy, who booked their place in the last four with victory over three-time defending champions Gaborone United, winning a tense shootout 13-12, Malete said his team had earned their shot at glory.

“We have worked hard for this, and we deserve it. We entered the tournament at the very beginning, while others joined along the way, demonstrating hard work and dedication,” concluded the highly-rated young tactician, who was recently promoted to Mares Head Coach.

The Orange FA Cup semifinals will be played as a double header on Saturday (May 04, 2024) at the National Stadium, with Hawks and Galaxy getting things started at 1600hrs before Tafic take on Orapa United under lights at 2000hrs.

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