Police XI were on Saturday eliminated from the Orange FA Cup quarterfinals following a narrow 1-0 loss to Gaborone United (GU) at the Royal Aria Stadium.
The only goal of the match came in the first half of the game from Kekaetswe Moloi, which was enough to see Moyagoleele through to the semifinals.
The match started at a fast pace under the scorching heat with both clubs showing clear intentions of getting early goals.
GU’s first chance was with Obonwe Maome as he saw his shot hitting the cross bar.
As the two teams continued with a good display of attacking football, much disappointment was in the final third as both teams could not convert their chances or breakthrough the defensive walls of each other.
However in the 29th minute, following a good exchange of passes by “The Reds”, Moloi managed to find the back of the net with a towering header after goalkeeper Lesego Bosekeng failed to deal with the cross.
While the goal was a wakeup call for ‘The Jungle Kings’, the two teams went for recess with GU leading after Police’s efforts to search for an equalizer proved fruitless.
Fresh from halftime, Police replaced Joseph Joseph with Eliphas Nyambe to aid the team with fresh legs.
The decision paid off as The Cops increased their intensity in attack for the whole of the 2nd half though they were unlucky not to score a goal.
Following menacing attacks from Police, coach Innocent Morapedi introduced Sadiki Takunda and Lesego Galenamotlhale at the expense of Maome and Moloi in order to increase attack and stabilize the midfield.
Morapedi would later throw in Thatayaone Ramatlapeng in the fray but the second goal remained elusive with the match ending at 1-0 in favour of the Reds.
In an interview, Morapedi was impressed with his charges following the safe passage to the last four.
“People thought we will play like in the league but this is a cup game, you will rather score and keep what you have and make a progression. It’s difficult to shift from league to cup, honestly they gave us a good run and they were resistant. They have a good squad, but we were the better team,” boasted the GU gaffer.
For his part, Police XI Coach Maitumelo Lotlamoreng said: “Second half we came strong because we were a goal down. We tried to rush a few things down because we wanted to equalize. Our game plan was to contain them first half then introduce attack minded players in the last half but that didn’t work,” he said.
More thrill is expected as GU joins Township Rollers, Masitaoka and Jwaneng Galaxy in the semifinals where the quest to fight for the P700k prize money will continue.