BOTSWANA be Mobile Premier Soccer League champions Township Rollers lost 0-1 to Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the National Stadium without head coach, former Warriors and Highlanders’ gaffer Madinda Ndlovu, who is attending a Caf A Licence coaching course back home in Zimbabwe.
It was Rollers’ second defeat of the season after suffering another home defeat to Police XI on January 17, putting Centre Chiefs back into contention for the champions as the two sides are now on 40 points from 18 matches, with 12 more games to go before the end of the season.
Ndlovu won the championship twice with Centre Chiefs in the 2011 to 2012 and 2012 to 2013 seasons and won it in the 2013 to 2014 with Rollers and is eyeing his fourth consecutive title in Botswana, to become the first foreigner to achieve such a feat in that country.
Lemponye Tshireletso’s first half solitary strike dispatched Rollers on Saturday, but Centre Chiefs, nicknamed Magosi, remained on second spot by virtue of an inferior goal difference. The race is still on with BDF XI also chasing with 34 points.
It was sweet revenge for Magosi, who lost the reverse fixture by the same margin at home on September 13 last year. Rollers will date third-placed BDF XI on Sunday away from home while Centre Chiefs will be banking on home advantage entertaining Notwane, who are sitting precariously on position 11 with 18 points.
The champions could be without Ndlovu once again as the Caf A Licence course is scheduled to end on Sunday when his side takes on BDF XI.
Ndlovu is due to face South African giants Kaizer Chiefs in the Caf Champions League preliminary round first leg after the BDF XI tie.
Meanwhile, Philani Mabhena of Sankoyo Bush Bucks beat Rahman Gumbo’s Gaborone United 2-0 at Maun Stadium on Saturday in a battle of the Zimbabwean coaches.
The win put Sankoyo just a point behind Gaborone United with 30 points. Gaborone perch on position six with 31 points while Sankoyo are on position seven and Gumbo dates bottom-placed Leplakeng on Saturday away from home while Sankoyo will be away to Police XI, who are position eight with 30 points as well.