THE country’s most decorated team, Matlama’s, hopes of winning a record 10th league title suffered a blow last weekend as they went down 2-1 against the defending champions, Bantu, at Setsoto Stadium on Saturday.
Tse Putsoa went into the match short of three points to claim the title with two matches to spare but Bantu stood their ground while at the same time they also increased their chances of defending their league title.
Before the Saturday match, Bantu were trailing Matlama by five points with both teams left with three matches to play but the win saw A Matšo Matebele cutting down the lead to just two points.
Had Matlama won the match, it would have dampened Bantu’s hopes to unseat the Sea Point outfit after LCS chocked out of the title race two weeks ago.
Bantu’s goals came from Litšepe Marabe and Lindokuhle Phungulwa’s headers while Matlama’s consolation goal was also a header from Phafa Tšosane.
Despite the win, Bantu remained second and will be hoping Matlama drops more points for them to win their third consecutive title as they will also have to win all their remaining matches.
On paper, Bantu has tougher fixtures starting with their arch rivals Lioli this Saturday and against stubborn Sefotha-fotha in the last game of the season. Matlama on the other hand will play Sefotha-fotha this weekend and Linare in their last match.
The Lioli versus Bantu match has in recent seasons been the biggest league tie and there is no doubt that sparks will fly once again as the two sides meet for the fourth time this season.
Lioli won the last three encounters and Bantu will be hoping for revenge come Saturday.
Sefotha-fotha have proven to be a giant killers this season and they are surely not going to be an easy opponent for both sides.
Linare have been struggling this season and have also been affected by the off the field problems that saw their coach Freeze Ntene being suspended but he will be back in the technical area for the Hlotse outfit starting with this weekend tie against Likhopo.