Rahman Gumbo’s Mochudi Centre Chiefs started the Be MOBILE Premier League in Botswana like a house on fire, scoring 12 goals in 2 matches. That wonderful run must have drowned in complacency as evidenced by a shock 2-0 loss to Extension Gunners 2 weeks ago.
This was then followed by a 1-0 humiliating by struggling TAFIC at the Francistown Stadium, agitating Chiefs’ supporters to uneasiness as they began to worry about their dominance being a thing of the past before it even began. Matters were not helped by the progress of their nearest rivals who were picking up points. ECCO City Greens, Township Rollers and Gaborone United suddenly found their voices and are giving Rush a run for his money.
However, Chiefs lost a key man to the ABSA Premier League debutants, Vasco da Gama of Cape Town. The services of talented midfielder Dirang Moloi will take time to be filled despite the hard work Gumbo is putting into the team. Mochudi Centre Chiefs bounced back this week to register a 2-0 win over visiting Nico United at the University of Botswana (UB) Stadium.
Nico United, formerly coached by Madinda Ndlovu, are in dire need of form to pick up points themselves. Willard Mashinkila Khumalo’s team, have seen their efforts rewarded here and there and their thin squad is now desperate to pick up essential points. Khumalo believes they got a valuable lesson in this fixture and are ready for the weekend.
It was lamentable for Khumalo that the team conceded an injury time goal in the first half. The goals came courtesy of Lesego Galenamotlhale with virtually the last kick of the half. The second half saw Nico fluff easy chances. The inability to be clinical in front of goal saw Moemedi Moatlhaping seal the deal with 20 minutes of play remaining. While the expectations are too high from both camps, Gumbo and Khumalo are great visionaries who will undoubtedly steady their ships with time.
Meanwhile, the rise and rise of Botswana’s Zebras is the talk and pride of Africa and FIFA. The Zebras clobbered Tunisia and Togo as well as playing to a draw with Malawi in the AFCON 2012 qualifiers. They beat Zimbabwe Warriors in a friendly match as well. Despite all that ground covered, the coach’s head is on the block. Like all Africa administrators, that success is itching that they bring an expatriate coach form Europe to teach the Tswanas how to play football. Previous coaches from abroad only managed to milk Botswana of Pulas and nothing else, as they have done in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
You will remember that South Africa tasted AFCON success with a local coach. Zimbabwe qualified for the same tournament twice with local coaches. Foreign coaches failed to take these nations near to those glory days, yet the national associations are adamant in labelling that success as better than failure. They always bring in these coaches from abroad so that African coaches can learn. I think I am the mad one here.
Do you suppose it is fair to criticise coaches after just 5 matches?