League race goes to the wire

Matlama . . . . . . (0) 0

LCS. . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1

MASERU — Lesotho’s premier league title race will go down to the wire on Sunday.

LCS and LDF will square off at Ratjomose in a match that will decide who will walk away with the biggest prize.

Yesterday, Masheshena and Sohle-Sohle secured hard-fought victories in the Vodacom Premier League penultimate round of matches to stay in the hunt.

The heroes for LCS and LDF were once more their hit-men, Thabane Rankara and Mojela Letsie respectively.

Rankara scored the solitary goal as LCS edged Matlama while Letsie scored the winner against Linare.

The two hit-men are tied on 13 goals each for the Golden Boot going into the final round.

Masheshena secured their victory in a scrappy match against Matlama at Setsoto Stadium.

LCS goal, scored in the fifth minute by Rankara, came while Tse Putsoa were still sleeping.

But although it was the perfect start Masheshena failed to put on the perfect show.

Matlama dominated play and it took Katleho Lethabela’s superhuman effort, lunging to clear Dlomo Monapathi’s goal-bound header off the line, to keep Masheshena in front at the break.

The second half was much the same and even with their live band it was the LCS faithful who were biting their nails everywhere.

Matlama, searching to salvage their season, scraped the crossbar 20 minutes into the match through a Hlomelang Theko shot.

Tse Putsoa’s best chance came in the 78th minute but Sam Ketsekile spectacularly saved Litšepe Marabe’s penalty to give LCS all three points

Last season Matlama secured their title in a match against LCS at a similar stage.

And as the final whistle blew Masheshena’s celebrations were of similar proportions.

But LCS’s celebrations weren’t outright as 80 kilometres away in Hlotse LDF were handling their business.

Letsie, who scored in Sohle-Sohle’s 3-1 win over Maduma on Sunday, scored the winner over Linare, who secured fourth spot because of Matlama’s loss.

LCS and LDF both have 51 points.

LCS, however, can still win the league with a draw because of their superior goal difference.

Nevertheless Masheshena spokesman Moseme Moseme denied they were favourites as the verbal sparring ahead of the match begun.

“Not so, because if they beat us they will win the league. We are going there to win,” Moseme told the Lesotho Times after Masheshena’s win.

“We are expecting a tough game. We want to win the league with a win not a draw. We are working towards returning to the international stage.”

The Caf Champions League berth and a possible tie with Orlando Pirates isn’t the only motivation for Sohle-Sohle because a win would secure a ninth title and equal Matlama’s all-time record.

“We have to win; a draw is not good enough for us. We are going to work hard to beat Masheshena,” LDF’s communications and marketing manager Donny Ntakha said.

The other significant result from yesterday’s high octane action was Joy’s 1-0 win over Mphatlalatsane.

The result relegated Mphatlalatsane from the Vodacom Premier League alongside Lerotholi, Swallows and Mabeoana.

But it is the other end and the M100 000 prize that matters.

Last year LDF and LCS met on the last day of the season to contest the fourth spot. LDF won 2-1.

All roads will again lead to Ratjomose on Sunday because it has come down to 90 minutes of destiny.

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