MATLAMA had to sweat for a 1-0 win over Kick4life in a Vodacom Premier League (VPL) match at LCS Ground yesterday afternoon.
Although Kick4life enjoyed the majority of possession in the early stages of the game, Matlama scored the only goal of the game on 14 minutes through a Phafa Tšosane spot kick. This after Kick4life defender Thapelo Mohale’s dangerous play on Lerotholi Zwane inside the box.
But even after snatching the lead, Matlama took long before getting their rhythm while Kick4life on the other hand, threw everything at their opponents.
Matlama were forced to make an early substitution introducing Thato Rantšo for Thabo Matšoele on 31 minutes.
On 33 minutes, Tšosane had a chance to double the lead for Matlama but he fired over the bar.
Six minutes into the second half, Kick4Life refreshed their team resting Mongezi Mologovane, Rapaulina Maime and Teboho Montlha for Tšeliso Botsane, Tanki Seoli and Katleho Molefe. Matlama responded by introducing Moteloa Khemisi.
After his introduction, Khemisi delivered a brilliant cross from the left to pick striker Teboho Peter in the box but his flicked header was off target.
Peter was later substituted with Khoanyane Mokoena.
Kick4Life kept on piling pressure but poor final third decisions made it impossible for the attacks to have the intended impact throughout the game.
The loss saw Kick4Life remaining in eighth with 21 points while Matlama, with 34 points, inched closer to leaders Bantu who are two pints ahead.
Kick4life coach Motebang Makhetha said his team has endured a tough first-round of the season.
“The congested games dictate that there should be less physicality and more of a mental approach,” Makhetha said.
“I am happy with my players’ never dying attitude. In this game, we were structurally good and were able to play the ball around in the first half but failed to create adequate scoring opportunities.”
On his part, Matlama coach Mothobi Molebatsi said he was happy with the win although he was worried that the team has been failing to score many goals.
“The points are the most important but we need to score more goals. We have been winning by small margins and that means we must improve,” Molebatsi said.