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Highlanders focus on avoiding chop

BR Highlanders inched closer to the safety mark of avoiding relegation at the expense of troubled Mochudi Centre Chiefs in the BTC Premiership fixture played under the floodlights at Molepolole Sports Complex on March 13.

Highlanders scraped past their counterpart through a late solitary goal that sealed maximum points for the Mahalapye-based side. 

Chiefs came into the fixture buoyed by their last match victory against BDF XI hoping to ride on the winning momentum to keep them afloat. 

Highlanders on the other side knew anything less than a point from the encounter would slightly drag them into the relegation mire that is brewing up as the league will soon come to a close. 

The encounter was however shy of action in the first half as both teams treaded cautiously to avoid conceding early into the game. 

Chiefs this season have been bashed with a lot of criticism for their inconsistency looked a very much disjointed side to the one that defeated BDF XI a fortnight ago. 

The best chance of the half fell to Remmington Masuku after half an hour, however, the Zimbabwean was denied by the post as his glancing header came off the post after a telling cross from the right-hand side.   

Both sides failed to break the duck in a rather disappointing 45 minutes of football. 

Straight from recess, Highlanders made a substitution in the midfield as they introduced Boikobo Osupile for Goitseone Legopelo. 

The change looked to have brought a new dynamic in attack for the visitors as they started to boss their counterparts in the midfield forcing Chiefs to make a change introducing Bakang Leshona for Elvis Meleka who looked a shadow of himself throughout the game.  

Siamang Kgosipula was called into action on the 56th minute as he flicked Phomolo Moahi’s terrific effort over the bar for a Highlanders corner kick. 

Chiefs’ first goal scoring opportunity came on the 63rd minute after second-half substitute Leshona delivered a cross at the far post but Morris Ruzivo’s on target header was cleared off the line as the visitors kept the Kgatleng giants at bay. Like the first half, the second half did not offer much for the spectators to talk about. 

With only 20 minutes to play Highlanders were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box after Mandla Mgadla was judged to have handled the ball.

With the help of some fortune, Moahi’s shot deflected off the wall and went straight into the bottom corner with Kgosipula beaten by the deflection.

Chiefs tried to push numbers in attack as they introduced Tumelo Sentle in attack but it was too little too late as Highlanders held on to the lead to secure the vital three points.

Highlanders coach, Blessing Moyo said the team was only focused on avoiding relegation for now.  

“This was a very important win, it could have been two or three goals but I am happy with that one goal because the three points we got just makes it special,” said Moyo

Moyo said the approach of the game was to play as much as they can and also frustrate their opponents by not allowing them to play.  

“Our mandate is to survive relegation and so far so good the players have really worked hard,” he said. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Bapati Mmotlanyane

Location : MOLEPOLOLE

Event : BTC Premiership

Date : Mar 14 Thu,2019

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