Lijabatho promoted to the Premier League


Mikia Kalati

A DIVISION’S Southern Stream side, Lijabatho, has secured promotion to the Premier League with two games to spare after beating Lithabaneng Golden 2-0 on Sunday.

The Morija outfit has been in fierce contention to win promotion to the premier league with the likes Qacha’s Nek LMPS and Manonyane.

Their dream finally came true on Sunday after securing a 2-0 victory over Golden to take them to 32 points after 16 games.

Qacha’s Nek LMPS and Manonyane are on 28 and 27 points respectively and cannot get to 32 points as both have just one game remaining to end their 2018/19 season.

Coach Makepe Motolo, who has led the club to top flight football in his first season, attributed their triumph to hard work.

“It was not easy because it was my first season in charge of the club and I had to make a lot of changes so we started from scratch,” Motolo said.

“We had also lost a lot of players who joined other teams before the start of the season but the support I received from the management of the team was also crucial in everything we achieved.”

Motolo, who joined Mahala, as Lijabatho is affectionately known, after a frustrating spell with Liphakoe last season, said they also had a good pre-season, which was a good foundation for them to fight for promotion to the Premier League.

“I think the good pre-season that we had also helped a lot because we were united as a team and also had the support of the management.

“We worked together in harmony throughout the season and it worked wonders for us on the field of play.”

The Lijabatho coach, who also previously worked as an assistant coach at Bantu in 2012, said he is looking forward to his return to top flight football and will reinforce his squad to ensure that they will be competitive in the premiership.

“We will work hard to reinforce the team technically and the playing personnel so that we can compete in the Premier League,” he said.

In the Northern Stream, the race is heating up in the remaining matches as leaders Lifofane and second placed Litšilo are tied on 40 points. However, Lifofane have a game in hand as they have played 16 games compared to the 17 played by Litšilo.

This means that Lifofane will win promotion in the North Stream if they win their remaining two matches.

A Division Management Committee (ADMACO) public relations officer Mothusi Letsie said Lijabatho will only be declared the winners of the premiership promotion at the end of the season provided there are no protests that could affect their elevation.

“Mathematically Lijabatho has been promoted because no other team can get to 32 points. However, we will wait for the season to end and see if there are no protests that will affect their promotion before we can declare them as the winners.

“In the North Stream, Lifofane have a very good chance because they can get to 46 points while Litšilo are working for 43 points. But football is full of surprises and anything can still happen,” Letsie said.

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