LDF coach fumes

MASERU — LDF assistant coach Motheo Mohapi has launched a scathing attack against the Premier League’s fixtures last weekend.

The army side had to play two games last weekend, travelling to Roma to face Rovers on Saturday before hosting fourth-placed Matlama on Sunday.

“We played the fixture against Matlama when the others (Lioli and LCS) didn’t have a game,” Mohapi said.

“We had to play a difficult game in very physically tough conditions on Saturday and then the next day we faced Matlama.”

League leaders LDF managed to overcome Rovers 2-1, before their goalless draw against Matlama opened the door for rivals LCS and Lioli in the title race.

Though the point increased LDF’s lead at the top to five points, they still have to face both second-placed LCS and third-placed Lioli in the run-in.

“This fixture against Matlama was moved to Sunday because at Easter we were meant to play three games in four days when other teams were meant to play just two,” Mohapi said.

“Why didn’t Lioli have two games at the weekend? It’s not a fair situation.”

Lioli, on 51 points, have played 23 games compared to LDF who have 62 points from 26 games.

The TY side may have the advantage of knowing what to do in the title run-in.

“At this stage of the season when there are less than 10 games to go, each team has to have played the same number of games,” Mohapi said.

Meanwhile, after his side were twice denied penalties claims against LDF on Sunday, Matlama coach Ntebele Taole has claimed that “Tse Putsoa” are victims of unfair officiating.

“We don’t get penalties, its clear,” Taole told the Lesotho Times this week.

“In the loss at St Monica’s (against Mphatlalatsane) last week there were four clear penalties and we didn’t get any of them. The same happened on Sunday as well.

“This is the way it is for Matlama. At St Monica’s we were playing against 13 players, the 10 players on the field plus the three match officials.”

He added: “It’s something that has always happened to Matlama, even when I was playing for the team.

“Even for those players that came before me it was the same.”

A promising run of form after Taole’s arrival in January had catapulted Matlama into fourth place, just nine points off the top, at the beginning of the month.

However the side has stumbled in their last four games, losing two and drawing two.

 

 

Pacesetters held

 

By Teboho Molapo

 

LDF………….(0) 0

Matlama…..(0) 0

 

MASERU — Premier League leaders LDF survived a spirited performance by Matlama to draw 0-0 on wintry Sunday afternoon at Ratjomose.

Although the match failed to warm up anyone, the point gained by LDF may just prompt the “fat lady” to start fine-tuning her voice.

With four games to go, LDF are now five points clear at the top.

Still, on the day, LDF were thoroughly second best.

Coming off a 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Mphatlalatsane last week, Matlama came into the game fired up.

Sadly their radar in front of goal was colder than a winter morning in Mokhotlong.

At least, unlike LDF, they did get close to the target with Litsepe Marabe — Matlama’s most dangerous player on show — putting a free header from Makoae Mothebesoane’s splendid cross wide in the 25th minute. Six minutes later, Thapelo Mokhehle blasted a free kick from just outside the box over the bar.

For LDF just firing off a shot was a problem. LDF’s big guns upfront, in particular Lire Phiri, were numbed by the freezing temperature.

Indeed for the first half-hour Matlama keeper Liteboho Mokhesi could have set up a braai for frosted spectators or knitted a much-needed jersey without anyone threatening his goal.

He didn’t. And his teammates didn’t take advantage of their obvious dominance.

LDF’s first attempt at goal only came in the 39th minute when Lengana Nkhethoa flashed a left footer wide and high, before Phiri blasted over from close range on the stroke of halftime.

Though the second half was a slightly better affair, it was still nothing to set the pulses racing.

Chances were few and far between, and the closest either side came to a goal was in the 70th minute when Matlama had a strong penalty shout for handball waved away by referee Paul Phomane.

After the match, Matlama coach Ntebele Taole complained over the decision.

“We had two clear penalties today and last week in Maputsoe we had four penalties (against Mphatlalatsane) that were not given,” he told the Lesotho Times.

“But I’m not going to cry over them because we didn’t come here looking to score from penalties.

“We wanted to score clear goals and we didn’t do that.”

Despite the patchiness of their performance, the draw stretched LDF’s lead over second-placed LCS.

“I am satisfied,” LDF assistant coach Motheo Mohapi said.

“As I have said before we are not playing to win games. We are playing to win the league.”

Elsewhere, Sunday was a day of celebration in Leribe as all of the district’s sides won their games.

Linare continued their late season form with a 2-1 win over Swallows in Hlotse – their third win in a row that left them just two points from the top eight.

Also in Hlotse, Joy increased their chances of a top-four finish with a convincing 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Majantja.

At St Monica’s, Mphatlalatsane beat Rovers 2-0 to complete a successful April with a haul of 11 points from a possible 15.

At Central Prison, eighth-placed Likhopo bounced back from two defeats to beat Lerotholi 1-0 thanks to Tsepo Lekhooana’s strike.

Results

Sunday: Mphatlalatsane 2-0 Rovers, Likhopo 1-0 Lerotholi, Linare 2-1 Swallows, LDF 0-0 Matlama, Joy 2-0 Majantja.

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