Zapata nears GU exit

…as Orapa United dumps GU out of Mascom Top 8 and Rollers sees off Galaxy

Tlotlo Kebinakgabo

Gaborone United head coach, Rodolfo Zapata says he is ready to leave unless the teething troubles surrounding the club are dealt with.

The outspoken coach was speaking with reporters in a post-match interview after his side lost 4-1 to Orapa United in the second leg of the Mascom Top 8 semi-final played in Gaborone over the weekend.

“I might leave at the end of this season but I will have to meet with the chairman (Rapula Okaile) because I don’t know his plan. We are done with the first step of rebuilding the team and now if we want to go to the next step we need to invest money in this team,” he said.

“I can’t stay with GU in this condition. I took this club when it was in a worse condition and everyone talked highly of it, how great it used to be.”

He said their loss over the weekend can be attributed to financial and political situations surrounding the club, “but I don’t want to use that as an excuse. Everyone knows the political and financial situation at GU and I think that’s the reason why we are where we are”.

“With all the problems that this club has, I think I have done enough for it with a very low budget in the previous two years. You can see Orapa United has JJ (Jerome Ramatlhakwana) and Big Lesh (Lesego Galenamotlhale) in the stands and other good players on the bench whereas in my side I have a lot of young players so it’s hard to compete. They are however doing well in the league,” he said.

GU’s 4-1 loss came courtesy of Kobamelo Kebaikanye’s brace, Onkabetse Makgantai’s volley and Tendai Nyumasi’s first half tap in. GU had taken the lead through Kabelo Seakanyeng who converted from the spot during the first half. They lost 5-1 on aggregate following their 1-0 loss in the first leg encounter which was played in Orapa a fortnight ago.

“It was tough more especially in the first half; they were very good in ball retention. I’m baffled by the scoreline and I must congratulate my players for the character they showed more especially in the first half,” said the Ostriches assistant coach Daniel Nare. His team has reached the third consecutive Mascom Top 8 final.

Meanwhile, Jwaneng Galaxy’s thoughts of becoming the first team to defend the Mascom Top 8 tournament were thwarted by Township Rollers after both teams played to a 1-all draw. Rollers advanced to the final on away-goal rule after a 3-3 score aggregate after their 2-2 draw in Lobatse just over a week ago.

“The result looks like the game was tough but it wasn’t as we could have scored more goals,” said Rollers coach Nikola Kavazovic after their match. He said the local league is filled with great teams, “but we are just superior.”

Said Galaxy assistant coach Matshediso Moseki: “It was a game of two halves; they did well in the first half whilst we were the better side in the second half. All in all I can’t complain that much. Yes it is frustrating not to defend the cup but its football.” He said their focus now shifts to the BTC Premiership as they are currently in the title race.

Rollers’ clash with the Ostriches in this year’s Mascom Top 8 final will be a repeat of the 2016 final which saw the Ostriches come from behind to win 3-1. The final is expected to be played on the 24th February at a venue yet to be announced.