The Voice (Botswana)


City Kings stun Lemela Mangwe


GUMARE minnows, City Kings put in a majestic performanc­e to progress to the next round of the Orange FA Cup on Saturday, edging a five goal thriller to send First Division North side, Makungulup­eswa, packing.

It continues the remarkable rise of a club only founded two years ago.

In that time, the impressive outfit has won the Nhabe Region’s Division One Gumare stream, triumphed in the regional play-offs and qualified for last season’s First Division shootout in Francistow­n.

While they came up short in the second city, losing all three of their matches, including a 2-1 defeat to eventual winners, Makungulup­eswa, ‘Amahot’ have recovered well.

Unbeaten so far this season, and now under the tuition of former Dukwi Coach, Casper Elijah, who joined last month, they currently sit 3rd in the league, six points off top-placed

Red Stars with a game in hand.

Seven months on from their slip-up in Ghetto, City Kings found themselves back in Kalanga land, this time in Nshakazhog­we to take on Lemela Mangwe as both teams made their bow in Botswana’s biggest cup competitio­n.

After their play-off success, Makungulup­eswa have struggled in the second tier and sit bottom of a tightly-contested 12-team log, in which just four points separate them from 6th placed Santa Green.

Keen for a cup run to boost morale, the home fans turned up in large numbers, confident of a rare win against lower league opposition.

They left entertaine­d but disappoint­ed, their heroes sent crashing out of the cup by an inspired City Kings.

Ultimately, it was Kings’ midfielder, man-of-the-match, Kebareng Baikisi, who proved the difference, the lanky leftfooter stunning the hosts with two almost identical long-range free kicks.

Home keeper, Bonno Ngisi, will feel he should have done better with both.

There seemed little immediate danger when Kings won a foul on the right side of the pitch, closer to the touchline than the box.

Expecting a cross, Ngisi was caught cold, the young shotstoppe­r unable to reach the ball as he desperatel­y scrambled back to his posts.

Baikisi repeated the trick in the 38th minute, looping another set piece from distance over the goalie and into the net.


To their credit, Makungulup­eswa fought back well, halving the deficit on the stroke of half-time, front man, Morgan Dick, firing the ball in from close range.

The comeback proved shortlived, Kings restoring their two-goal cushion less than 30 seconds after the interval, Gosaitse Manuel left criminally unmarked in the middle to tap home a sweeping move.

Again, Makungulup­eswa reacted well to the body-blow, substitute Onkgolotse Maridi breathing extra life into the already lively contest with a fine strike in the 74th minute.

Although they had just over a quarter-of-an-hour to find an equaliser and take the game to penalties, Coach Jacob Thubu’s men couldn’t quite force a third.

They came agonisingl­y close, however, striker Tuelo Ngisi seeing his firm header headed off the line in a frantic ending to the match.

With Makungulup­eswa in all out attack mode, Kings looked dangerous on the counter, but were denied by three spectacula­r Ngisi saves.

The keeper’s late heroics were not enough to save his team from an early exit. Their cup dreams dashed at the first hurdle, Lemela Mangwe must now focus all their energies on survival, starting with a huge bottom-of-the-table clash against Peacemaker­s on Saturday.

For City Kings, the 750km journey back home was eased by tantalisin­g thoughts of who they might get in the next round. Already assured of a P20,000 pay-day, the magic of the cup is well and truly alive in Gumare!

 ?? ?? UP FOR THE CUP: City Kings held on for a famous win
UP FOR THE CUP: City Kings held on for a famous win
 ?? ?? PUSHING THROUGH: The minnows progressed
PUSHING THROUGH: The minnows progressed
 ?? ?? IN THE BALANCE: City Kings edged a thriller
IN THE BALANCE: City Kings edged a thriller
 ?? ?? BODY BLOW: The all-important first goal
BODY BLOW: The all-important first goal

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