Premier league new entrants, VTM’s plans for the next season would see the club beefing up their squad for the new challenge.
The southern side over the weekend secured promotion to the elite league following their 6-5 victory against Chadibe. The victory of ‘Bafana Ba Dijabane’ as they are affectionately called was sealed by the team skipper and second-half substitute, Ayanda Molefe who scored the last goal of the game.
VTM has now joined Matebele and Tafic who were automatically promoted to the league after winning the First Division Southern and Northern league while Prisons XI, Extension Gunners and Mogoditshane Fighters have been relegated to the lower division for the 2023/24 season.
Chadibe travelled to the VTM Arena with a 1-0 lead from the first leg with hopes that they will keep their heads up for a promotion by either a draw or win at Gamononyane grounds. After a goalless first half, VTM gaffer, Leutlwile Tshireletso, made tactical changes that paid off.
VTM’s substitution, Molefe, in his first contribution managed to score after collecting a pass following some neat exchanges outside the box and rounded off Michael James in Chadibe’s last line of defence before slotting the ball into an empty net.
VTM were pressing forward with better opportunities on the counter, but failed to take lead of the match with less than 15 minutes on the clock when Molefe failed to grab his brace when he guided his shot wide. VTM got an insurance goal with 10 minutes to go as another second-half substitute; Bogosi Nfila tapped into the net after Molefe made a clever back heel to Sifiso Myeni who dashed down the left flank and executed an outside boot pass to Nfila who extended the lead.
With seconds left before regulation time, VTM keeper, Victor Mothakaja spilled an easy looking corner-kick which was met by substitute, Patrick Setumbeko to silence the vociferous VTM fans who had packed the arena. The goal set the two teams for a penalty showdown.
All the teams scored all the five spot-kicks but Chadibe skipper, Setumbeko missed his penalty kick as he shot high above the cross bar. VTM then secured their promotion through Molefe who did not waste any chance to pick far corner and scored the winning goal.
VTM team manager Boitshepo Gaegopolwe told Times Sport that the team management will seat and map a way forward for the new challenge next season in the elite league.
Gaegopolwe further indicated that there is a lot to do now that the season has come to an end therefore players’ contracts and beefing up of their squad will need urgent attention before starting the pre-season. The team manager has expressed confidence about their readiness for the challenge ahead.
Meanwhile Chadibe public relations officer Leatile Morgan said they are happy with the outcome of the season and appreciated the boys for the fight they put up until the last day. Speaking in an interview, Morgan indicated that they will go back and fight again for a spot in the elite league next season.