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Top 8 semis spectacle

Top 8 semis spectacle
March 15
16:14 2015

As the weekend that promises intriguing displays approaches, all eyes will be on the sides trailing behind from the first leg encounters. The victims BDF XI and Nico United are looking for famous victories that could possibly seal passage to the final of the lucrative Mascom Top 8 cup. Rollers hosts BDF XI on Friday night at the National Stadium while Nico United planned a rude welcome of Gaborone United at Selibe Phikwe Stadium.
In the first leg, both sides suffered defeats at the hands of Township Rollers and Gaborone United respectively. BDF XI were beaten 2-1 by Rollers at SSKB while Nico United were defeated 3-1 by Gaborone United.
With Rollers having endured an uninspiring start to 2015- their unbeaten run in the league was halted by Police XI which eventually led to the slip from the top of the log and bowing out of the CAF champions league at the hands of Kaizer Chiefs, Rollers is absolutely needing something to pride themselves with and a berth in the final could make the list.
But Rollers face BDF XI missing some of their key players. Midfielder Segolame boy is yet to pass a late fitness test following the ankle injury sustained during their famous 2-1 victory against Sankoyo Bush Bucks away in Maun. “Segolame Boy accidentally sustained a mild knock on his left leg during the last fixture, causing moderate pain and swelling. He somehow managed to soldier on till fulltime bearing the pain. With the foot still swollen today (Tuesday), he shall undergo X-ray checkup over the course of the week to reveal the extent of internal injury if any. He is under physiotherapy lessons as prescribed. His availability for Friday encounter stays doubtful and shall be revealed only after the X-ray checkups,” a statement from Rollers said.
Moreover, defender Simisani Mathumo has been ruled out of the Friday clash. “Mathumo is recovering at a gradual pace owing to an ankle sprain picked up a week back, and remains unavailable for selection,” the statement said. However, Manqoba Ngwenya, Lemponye Tshireletso have resumed training. Oozing with confidence after thrashing a stubborn Sankoyo Bush Bucks in the league, Rollers will invest their energy for a victory to be assured of a place at the finals. Rollers also suffered a defeat against BDF XI last year in the final of the Mascom Top 8 and they will be looking for a revenge.
After suffering the same fate of bowing out of the CAF competition, the Confederations Cup, BDF XI have their eyes set on writing the history books by winning the Mascom Top 8 twice in a trot. BDF XI were knocked out of the Confed Cup by the Young Africa of Tanzania and they immediately shifted their focus on the domestic competitions. The BDF XI camp will welcome stalwart Mompati Thuma who was rested in their previous game.
In the league, it seems the Selibe Phikwe based side is struggling, but their Mascom Top 8 record could neutralise deep doubts of reaching the final. Buoyed by the home ground advantage in Selibe Phikwe, Nico United will be going for a kill. Though they have not been at their best in the league, some Nico United players could rise to the occasion in Selibe  Phikwe, the likes of Richard Legwaila, Kagiso Rankebekwa, Nelson Moreetsi, Khumoetsile Kufigwa and Thatayaone Gaokgorwe are available for Majombolo.
United also enters the crucial clash with confidence following a good run in the league. In their previous game, Ofentse Nato and Kgololo Kgogobi managed to help United collect three points in the 2-1 drubbing of BMC. Rahman Gumbo’s men are charged up- they will be looking to defend their first leg victory against Nico United. The likes of Ofentse Nato, Jackie Mothatego, Abednico Powell, Benson Shilongo, Ntesang Simanyana are all available for selection against Nico United.


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