Bantu set for title glory

Bantu set for title glory

MASERU – Bantu will be crowned Econet Premier League champions today if they beat Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) at Setsoto Stadium.
The match is one of six rescheduled fixtures that will be played on Thursday afternoon after they were postponed in March because of a FIFA international break.

For Bantu the slate of games could end with another glorious chapter in the club’s suddenly successful history.
‘A Matšo Matebele’, league winners last year, are perched on top of the Econet Premier League with 49 points, eight ahead of nearest challengers Lioli with three games to play.

It means one more win would guarantee back-to-back titles for the Mafeteng side who only captured their first championship in 2014.
Victory this afternoon would make it three league titles in Bantu’s history equalling the tally of famed giants Arsenal and Linare, and now only lagging behind Matlama, LDF, Lioli and Lesotho Correctional Services in the pecking order.

Most league titles:

10 – Matlama
8 – LDF
6 – LCS
5 – Lioli
3 – Arsenal
Maseru United
2 – Likhopo

Whether Bantu’s latest title win will be tainted is another story.
In March, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ were found guilty of fraudulently registering four South African players as Lesotho nationals in order to comply with the Premier League’s foreign quota of players and using them during a 2-1 league win over Lioli in December.
Bantu were docked three points and three goals and the players in question – Thabo Selisa, Phumuha Matsipa, Pheko Molaoa, and Itumeleng Falene – were ordered to stop playing for the rest of the season.

The increasingly bitter run-in between Bantu and Lioli then took a further twist last week when ‘Tse Nala’ officially accused Bantu of attempting to bribe their players before an Econet Premiership clash between the rivals two weekends ago.
Bantu won that game 4-1 to just about seal the title but it remains to be seen what the outcome of Lioli’s gripes will be.

Whatever the noise off the field, however, Bantu’s players and their mentor James Madidilane have kept their heads on the pitch.
‘A Matšo Matebele’ are unbeaten in the league in 2018, winning seven of their nine games this year, and it is that run which has propelled them to the doorstep of Lesotho’s grandest football achievement.

It is now a question of when and not if Bantu will clinch the 2017/18 Econet Premier League title.
That ‘when’ may come today at Setsoto.

Fixture (Thursday)
Lioli vs. Linare (TY, 15:00)
Majantja vs. LMPS (Mohale’s Hoek, 15:00)
LCS vs. Liphakoe (LCS, 15:00)
LDF vs. Bantu (Setsoto Stadium, 15:00)
Matlama vs. Sefotha-fotha (Setsoto Stadium, 13:00)
Likhopo vs. Sky Battalion (LDF, 15:00)

Luciah Phahla

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