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A four horse race?

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — Last season when army side LDF opened an eight-point lead at the top of the league with a 2-0 win over Butha-Buthe Roses with just less than a month to go, it seemed the race for the premiership title was done and dusted.
But LDF began to experience some hiccups opening the way for Lioli to overtake the army side and eventually win the league by three points.
Last Saturday, LDF suffered another hiccup when they were held at home to a 0-0 draw by Joy.
This was not the first time LDF had been unconvincing at home.
A few weeks ago, the army side looked on the brink of defeat against Mphatlalatsane and needed two late goals to secure victory.
Champions Lioli are sitting pretty at the top of the log after hammering a hapless Butha-Buthe side 3-0 in Teyateyaneng last weekend.
It was the Butha-Buthe side’s sixth consecutive loss and leaves them rooted to the bottom of the log.
With the victory, Lioli kept up their unbeaten record at home that stretches back to January last year.
At Pitso Ground, Matlama beat Linare 1-0 to stay three points off the top with two games in hand.
But the biggest story of the weekend has to be Bantu after the Mafeteng side edged Swallows 3-2.
It was Bantu’s third win in their last four matches and the newly promoted side are only two points behind joint leaders Lioli and LDF.
After negotiating a tough period of fixtures – with wins over LCS and LMPS and a draw with Lioli – Bantu face a relatively easier prospect when they face four of the league’s bottom five sides – Roma Rovers, Butha-Buthe Roses, Lerotholi and Majantja.
This is a period where they can feel grabbing 12 points is very possible.
However, speaking to the Lesotho Times this week, Bantu coach Bafokeng Mohapi was refusing to get carried away with talk of winning the title or getting into the top four.
“These are the games that are the most difficult because those teams want to get out of the position that they are in,” Mohapi said on Monday.
“It is also tough to prepare your players mentally because they can feel it is an easier game. It happened when we played Nyenye Rovers when we drew but we beat LCS and LMPS. We will take it one game at a time.”
Central to that form has been Bantu’s home form and that of playmaker Tefo Maipato, who has scored five goals this season.
However, Maipato is due to leave at the end of the month for university studies in South Africa.
“It is a big blow. He is a skilful player and he can read the game. We might have to change the way we play,” Mohapi said.
“Right now we can see a change in our performances at home. At the beginning the crowd exerted a lot of pressure on and we preferred playing away. Now of late we are playing well,” Mohapi added.
This weekend Bantu host Roma Rovers as they play their last game of the first round.
“We want to win, especially because we are at home,” Mohapi said.
Weekend results:
LDF 0-0 Joy
Matlama 1-0 Linare
Likhopo 1-1 Mphatlalatsane
Lioli 3-0 Butha-Buthe Roses
Lerotholi Polytechnic 0-1 Nyenye Rovers
Bantu 3-2 Swallows
Rovers 0-0 LMPS
Majantja vs LCS (not played).

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