Matlama close in on LCS
LEBAJOA Mosehlenyane was the hero yesterday netting a goal in each half to help Matlama ease to a 2-nil win over LDF at Ratjomose Ground yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday’s win saw Matlama reduce LCS’ lead on top of the Econet Premier League table to four points as the two sides head for a top of the table clash at LCS Ground on Saturday.
Matlama are now breathing down heavily on LCS’s necks with 23 as opposed to the pace setters’ 27 points.
LDF frustrated their cunning opponents in the early stages of the match as the army side were also looking to cement their third place on the log and stay in the race for the league title. If they had beaten Tse Putsoa yesterday, they would have landed on the second place.
But it was not meant to be for Motheo Mohapi’s charges as Matlama came out guns blazing in search of maximum points.
LDF started to crack on the half hour mark and Matlama’s first dangerous attempt at goal came from Phafa Tsosane’s set piece just a few yards outside the penalty area.
LDF goalkeeper Likano Mphuthi was however, quick enough to save the well curled shot on the 35th minute defying the injury that made him limp from the first whistle.
A minute later, Matlama were at it again but striker Motebang Sera wasted the golden opportunity to put his side in the lead after he failed to beat Mphuthi in a one-on-one situation after cleanly beating three Matlama defenders.
LDF were forced to defend deep in their own half and five minutes before the break, Mosehlenyane beat an off-side trap and easily put the ball in the back of the net to put Matlama in the lead.
LDF made a double substitute immediately after the break, introducing Thabo Mongali and Letlatsa Moshoeshoe for Tšeliso Chaba and Tšeliso Phera.
The substitutes however, failed to change LDF’s fortunes as Matlama continued to dominate in search for another goal.
Mosehlenyane scored the second goal 10 after the half time with a strike from outside the box. Receiving the ball outside the penalty area coming from the right wing, he immediately picked a spot and placed the ball far from Mphuthi’s reach.
Sohle-Sohle tried to get back into the match and Tšepo Toloane forced Matlama goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane to produce a double save with a long range.
LDF made their last substitute on the hour mark with Morena Moloinyane making way for Tsie Moabi.
A few minutes later, Sera could have extended the lead for Matlama but he once again squandered the chance as his shot from close range went wide after a neat exchange of passes with Jane Thabantšo.
As if conceding two goals wasn’t enough, LDF suffered another blow with Mphuthi being forced out after the escalation of his knee injury.
Defender Matli Matli took the gloves and went between the sticks as his side had exhausted their three substitutes on the 71st minute.
Matlama’s first substitute came on the 76th minute with Mabuti Potloane coming in for Reitumetsi Linkoane and four minutes later, Bushy Moletsane was introduced for Tšosane.
Matli’s goalkeeping credentials were tested seven minutes before the end of regulation time and he produced a great save to deny a well curled Thabantšo shot.
Katleho Moleko was introduced as the last substitute of the match coming in for Mosehlenyane.
Matlama coach Thabile Secker was full of praises for his side saying the win will go a long way in keeping his team motivated ahead of their weekend match.
“Results are coming and that is what is important, the overall performance was good and I am satisfied so now we need to focus on the next match against LCS on Saturday,” Secker said.
Mohapi on the other hand was disappointed saying his charges look like they have lost the passion they used to show when the league started.
“I am not impressed with how we played because it looked like my players are no longer determined and passionate to win.
“I noticed this in the match against Linare early this month although we won 1-nil. It was also the same case when we played Likhopo last weekend and we ended up losing that match.
“For now, we just have to play our last match this year then head into the break and see how we can rectify the problems because we can’t go on like this,” Mohapi said.
In another match at the same venue yesterday, Kick4Life registered their third consecutive win edging Swallows 3-2.