Butha-Buthe Roses..…..(0) 0
MASERU — Second-half goals from Mosiuoa Boseka and Hlomelang Theko were enough to earn Matlama an uninspiring 2-0 victory over Butha-Buthe Roses at Pitso Ground last Saturday.
The win continued Tse Putsoa’s outstanding home form this year while Roses’ away form remained the complete opposite.
Since the turn of the year, Matlama have won each of their eight home games, conceding just three goals.
Roses, on the other hand, have triumphed just once away from Butha-Buthe all season.
Those respective records never seemed in danger of changing on Saturday.
With ambitions of a top-three Premiership finish, Matlama started off brighter than a Roses side seemingly burdened by the hovering axe of relegation.
Overawed or under-prepared, the Butha-Buthe outfit never threatened in the opening half, and indeed the game should have been over as a contest long before the interval.
However slack Matlama play in the final third kept the visitors in the game.
The second half remained as monotonous as the first until Boseka opened the scoring in the 57th minute with a left-foot curler into the top corner.
The goal’s quality — a slick Matlama move beautifully put away by Boseka — wasn’t in keeping with what had generally been on display but still it was just reward for the winger’s toil.
Down 1-0, Roses sprung into life – stretching the legs of Matlama centre-backs Sello Seholoholo and Bafokeng Ntsohi for the first time.
And with Matlama beginning to be sloppy an equaliser was briefly threatened.
It never came though, and with four minutes to go striker Theko put the result beyond doubt after he was given the freedom of Maseru to coolly slot the ball past a sprawling Mpiti Thamae.
“We didn’t identify the danger. All the players ran to the goals instead of marking,” Butha-Buthe Roses coach Libusa Ramakatane complained after the game.
The result means Roses remain 14th in the league, still in deep trouble.
“We wanted to win here. Naughty Boys had a tough game (against Rovers) and we wanted to capitalise,” he said.
Ramakatane added: “We didn’t have confidence. We beat this team before but when the team gets to Maseru it’s like they see these players as big names and they become afraid.”
For Matlama it’s 13 points garnerd from their last five games.
“I’m happy with the win but I’m not happy about chances that we missed,” Ntebele Taole, Matlama coach, said afterwards.
“Our wingers played well, they played to our game plan,” he added.
“But having said that I must praise the whole team. They did well.”
Matlama stay in fourth place, but they are now four points ahead of fifth-placed LMPS, and nine points off the summit.
Last weekend’s results
Saturday: Naughty Boys 2-2 Rovers, Matlama 2-0 Butha-Buthe Roses, Lerotholi 2-1 Sekamaneng Young Stars, Joy 1-0 LDF.
Sunday: Mphatlalatsane 1-1 Linare, Majantja 0-2 Likhopo, Swallows 0-1 LCS, LMPS 0-0 Lioli.