Africa-Press – Botswana. Jwaneng Galaxy have been crowned Botswana Premier League 2023/24 champions after thrashing Orapa United by a solitary goal in Jwaneng on Saturday.

The team captain led by example scoring the only goal of the match in the 16th minute, enough to secure the three points needed to successfully defend the league title

Galaxy came into the last match of the season under pressure from Township Rollers and Gaborone United as all the teams stood a great chance of winning the league. Galaxy only needed a win to win the title back to back.

Under the stewardship of captain Thabang Leinanyane, who was also rewarded with the man of the match honours for his exceptional performance, The Gala Nation vehemently defended the narrow lead for 74th minutes.

Another individual winner in the team was forward Thabang Sesinyi, who was crowned the season’s top goal scorer with 16 goals, taking the award for the third consecutive season.

Galaxy Coach, Morena Ramoreboli attributed their win to hard work and consistency.

He said the support from The Gala Nation and players’ will to sacrifice for one another brought them success.

He said they had the most difficult season and was happy that they managed to win, noting that their commitment and sacrifices paid off.

Ramoreboli encountered a difficult week while preparing for the final and crucial match of the season, after losing his mother during the course of the week, but his players made his work very easy with their fighting spirit.

A closely contested season saw Galaxy won the league with 65 points, followed closely behind by Township Rollers with 64 points in second position, while Gaborone United finished third with 63 points.

Meanwhile, Township Rollers ended the league season on a high note winning its fifth consecutive match by defeating TAFIC FC 1-0 at Obed Itani Chilume stadium in Francistown.

The match tested Rollers’ mettle as it was dealing with a stubborn and equally competent opponent in TAFIC.

While Rollers fought for a chance to clinch the title, which was a three-horse race, TAFIC was on the other hand fighting to improve its position on the log and to equally prove that it was a giant of the North more so that it was playing at home.

The game went into recess goalless and Onkarabile Ratanang scored the only goal of the match for Rollers in the 59th minute of the game through a perfect header.

In a post-match interview, Rollers coach, Innocent Morapedi said it was the artistic header of Ratanang that broke TAFIC defence line.

“Our team executed our game plan perfectly, and I believe the Gods must have been smiling upon us today,’ said Morapedi with a grin, gesturing towards the heavens.

“We set out to start strong and end strong,” he said adding that Rollers started the league with a win and ended it with another win.

Despite falling short of the title by a point, Morapedi said his team did well taking into account that at one point Galaxy seemed to have ran off with the league having opened a gap of 10 points.

In Lobatse, another title contender, Gaborone United finished the league on an equally positive note, defeating bottom-placed and relegated Holy Ghost 3-1 at Lobatse Sports Complex.

GU opened its scoring account in the 23rd minute through Lebogang Ditsile. The second goal came two minutes later in the 25th minute through Sheikh Sesay.

Despite redeeming themselves with a goal in the 41st minute through Kgakgamatso Ramatshosa, Holy Ghost could not stop rampant GU, as it scored a third goal in the 76th minute through Thatayaone Kgamanyane to seal its victory.

However, the win was not enough to secure the title, as Jwaneng Galaxy, who came into the last game of the league at the top of the log managed to get a narrow 1-0 win at home against Orapa United. Therefore, GU finished third behind Township Rollers.

GU assistant coach, Stephen Maposa was equally impressed by the performance of the Reds, even though it was not enough to secure them the league title.

Maposa said for one to secure the league title it was important to be in control, as hoping for other teams to do the job for you was nearly impossible.

Despite finishing the league without a trophy, compared to the previous season, Maposa commended the team for fighting to the last game and being among the title contenders.

He said the focus was now on the coming season and was hoping that the team would improve on what it had achieved, though finishing the league without winning a single trophy.

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