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‘Popa’ rout Al-Merrikh in Gabs

‘Popa’ rout Al-Merrikh in Gabs
February 12
13:17 2018

… while Galaxy lose in Mozambique

Tlotlo Kebinakgabo

Township Rollers ‘Popa’ drubbed Sudan’s Al Merrikh Sudan 3-0 in the first leg of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Championships preliminary round that was played in Gaborone over the weekend.

With both teams meeting for the first time ever, the game started on a low note as the teams took time to feel each other out. However, the home team got the better of their counterparts in the 27th minute after Mosha Gaolaolwe headed home Edwin Moalosi’s free kick to make it 1-0.

Moalosi, who has since become an integral part of Popa’s attack, released a brilliant strike to Esam Shamila’s goal posts to make it 2-nil to the good of ‘Popa’ a minute before the curtain fell on the first stanza.

The second half persisted with nothing much to write home about until ‘Popa’ coach, Nikola Kavazovic, brought in Segolame Boy for Motsholetsi Sikele in the 68th minute. A mere two minutes later, Segolame displayed of a bit of razzle-dazzle before scoring Rollers’ third goal.

“Tactical discipline was vital in today’s result because we faced a highly-ranked opponent with good quality players,” said Kavazovic. “I think our defence organization and offensive transition decided the game and I’m really satisfied with the results.

”Unfortunately this result doesn’t guarantee us a thing as hell is waiting for us in Sudan, the supporters there are very passionate about football but I hope we score there and advance.”

Said Al Merrikh coach, Mohamed Abdallah: “Congrats to Rollers. I think they deserved to win as they played good football. We made defensive errors as at least two goals resulted from our mistakes. I have learnt that Rollers is tactically good and are good on counter. They also make good use of set pieces.”

Abdallah added that he aimed would be able to turn the tables around in Sudan and ultimately qualify for the next round of the preliminaries. “Everything is possible in football, so we have to prepare ourselves and avoid making mistakes at home,” he said.

Both sides will clash again in the second leg on 21st of this month at Omdurman, Sudan from which the victorious team will meet the aggregate winner between Young Africans of Tanzania and Saint Louis of the Seychelles.

Meanwhile, Jwaneng Galaxy conceded late to lose 1-0 to Costa do Sol FC in their first leg of the CAF Confederations Cup played in Mozambique over the weekend. Both teams will also meet again on the 21st of this month.


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