Bantu crush LMPS

Bantu crush LMPS

MASERU – Bantu continued their impressive start to the Econet Premier League season with a convincing 3-0 win over Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) yesterday at Setsoto Stadium.
With the victory, the Mafeteng side extended their lead at the top of the league to eight points ahead of champions Matlama in second place.

Bantu walked away with all three points but the win was marred by controversy in the first half when Hlompho Kalake gave ‘A Matšo Matebele’ the lead in the 43rd minute from a seemingly offside position.

The referee’s decision to allow the goal to stand angered LMPS’ players and bench and the game’s restart was delayed by several minutes of furious protests.

Bantu, however, were unruffled and sealed the game in the second half thanks to a brace by Tšepang Sefali.
Afterwards, Bantu head coach Bob Mafoso was a happy man.
Mafoso admitted LMPS were difficult to break down in the first half because they sat back in numbers, soaking up Bantu’s pressure and hoping to catch the Mafeteng side on the break.

He praised Bantu’s second half substitutes for helping open the game.
“When you play a team that is looking to catch you on breaks it becomes a difficult game, you have to break down their numbers in front of the goals which was difficult for us in the first half because they wanted to counterattack with their three strikers,” Mafoso said.

“We dominated the attacking phase when we had the ball but we didn’t hurt them because they were many (behind the ball). Where they gave us space we failed to capitalise with balls that could help us in wider positions.
“When you have one goal the mentality you have is to defend which is what was happening to our players, and we tried to encourage them to hold (the ball) and try to push (forward),” the Bantu mentor added.

The log leaders showed their attacking intentions from the first whistle but LMPS stood the test.
For the majority of the first half LMPS frustrated Bantu with their resilient defence and it seemed the game would go into halftime locked at 0-0 until Kalake’s opener.

In the second half Bantu again started brightly and this time their efforts paid more dividends as Sefali scored twice to ensure all three points for ‘A Matšo Matebele’.
“The substitutes gave us what we wanted,” Mafoso said. “On the right Sefali gave us what we wanted. I don’t think defensively it was a difficult game for us.”

Mafoso said this is a vital period for Bantu.
The Mafeteng side are scheduled to face LDF on Sunday though the game could be postponed because of an illness that has ravaged ‘Sohle-Sohle’. Last Saturday, Bantu beat Lijabatho 1-0.

“The games are coming thick and fast and if you look at it, apart from the international matches, this team has been playing every two days; we have not had a break,” Mafoso said.
“I am not saying I wish it can happen (that game against LDF be postponed) but it would give us a much needed break. It would give us about 10 days together not working hard. It’s a break I would welcome.”

Weekend fixtures:
Saturday (15:30):
Lijabatho vs. Liphakoe (Morija)
Likhopo vs. Lioli (LCS)
Linare vs. LMPS (Maputsoe)

Sunday (15:30):
LDF vs. Bantu (LDF)
LCS vs. Swallows FC (LCS)
Sefotha-fotha vs. Kick4Life (PTC)
Lifofane vs. Matlama (Butha-Buthe)

Econet Premier League standings:

1 Bantu 9 8 1 0 19 3 +16 25
2 Matlama 8 5 2 1 17 4 +13 17
3 LCS 9 4 3 2 6 5 +1 15
4 Lifofane 9 4 3 2 7 7 +0 15
5 Lioli 8 4 2 2 10 5 +5 14
6 LMPS 9 4 2 3 6 7 -1 14
7 Kick4Life 8 3 3 2 7 6 +1 12
8 Likhopo 9 2 4 3 13 13 +0 10
9 Linare 9 2 3 4 7 9 -2 9
10 LDF 8 1 5 2 7 7 +0 8
11 Lijabatho 9 1 4 4 7 9 -2 7
12 Sefotha-fotha 9 1 3 5 3 10 -7 6
13 Liphakoe 9 0 5 4 4 11 -7 5
14 Swallows 9 1 2 6 3 20 -17 5

Luciah Phahla


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