The Relegation Series: Sankoyo Bush Bucks

The 2018/2019 Botswana Premier League season nears its end with 10 league games standing between league supremacy, relegation and security in the top flight. The candle burns at both ends of the log table, botswanapremierleague.com looks at relegation candidates and their chances based on log standing, form and remaining games.

Sankoyo Bush Bucks

The current occupants of the last slot are five (5) points off 13th placed Prisons XI. As easy on the eyes as that seems they are a troubled side. Coach Gadimang Tiiso and his charges have been in (sixteenth) 16th position for a combined 11 weeks, more than any side in the premier league season. The Maun based side has only managed to score a total of 16 goals, a tally they share with 12th placed BR Highlanders and Notwane who sit in 10th place. The goal return is the lowest in the division, they have also conceded 32 goals along with Prisons XI, second to only Black Forest who have conceded 37.

Their form, both home and away, highlights their struggles to stay afloat. Ngurungu registered their first win eleven (11) games into the season with a 1-0 home win over Sharps Shooting Stars, their other only win was a 2-1 home game against fellow relegation contenders Mochudi Centre Chiefs. At home this season, they have managed to accumulate a total of nine (9) points out of a potential 30, with the bulk of those coming from their two (2) victories. They have also struggled greatly on the road having picked up only 4 points out of a potential 30. The side averages 0.8 goals per game and it would take a remarkable turnaround in fortunes to save the club.

Upcoming Fixtures

The second half of the season has not been generous to Ngurungu, who have gathered only 2 points from 5 outings, the 2 points came from draws against Gaborone United and Sharps Shooting Stars, sides which are in the top half of the log. The duo are not the only sides from the top half they have faced in the second round having lost to Orapa United and BDF XI since the turn of the New Year, with another loss to bottom half side Miscellaneous. Out of teams in the top half of the table, they have played away with Orapa United, Gaborone United, BDF XI and Sharps Shooting Stars. The only side they concluded their business with outside the top half is 9th placed Miscellaneous.

In their remaining games, they are to face six (6) teams outside the top 8 bracket, from whom they took a total of 4 points in the first round. They are yet to face fellow relegation contenders Black Forest and Mochudi Centre Chiefs who they beat in the first round. Both games will be equally vital as they could help them climb out of the relegation hole.

Their next outing sees them face 2nd placed Jwaneng Galaxy. Games against other top 8 sides include Police XI, Extension Gunners and current leaders Township Rollers who beat them 4-1, their highest score line loss so far this season. The team managed to amass seven (7) points from a potential 24 in the first round against teams that are currently in the top half.

With ten (10) games left, there is time to turn the tables around but they have a mammoth task ahead seeing as they are yet to register a win in the second half. Upsets are likely to occur along the way and maybe, just maybe Sankoyo can pull a Houdini and escape the axe.

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