Sefotha-fotha misses out

Sefotha-fotha misses out

Luciah Phahla

Maseru

Sefotha-fotha general manager Hlompho Maitin says he is at a loss of words as to how the club missed out on promotion to the Vodacom Premier League.

Sefotha-fotha needed just one point to secure a spot in the elite league heading into last Sunday’s final round of fixtures.

However, their dreams were shattered by a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Galaxy.

The loss meant Sefotha-fotha were leapfrogged at the top of the A-Division northern stream on the final day by Butha-Buthe Warriors on goal difference.

Maitin said the club is still in shock and what makes the setback more painful is they missed out on promotion by one goal.

Maitin told thepost he cannot think of anything that went wrong in their campaign.

However, he admitted the match-fixing allegations levelled at the club may have played a role. Last month, Moholisa City Stars claimed Sefotha-fotha offered them M2000 before a league encounter to throw the game.

Sefotha-fotha won the match 2-1 on March 20 and the case is still under investigation by the league.

“We are still shocked that we missed out by a one goal difference and it’s painful because it happened in the last minute. I cannot even pin-point a single thing that could have gone wrong from our side. I think the match-fixing allegations did affect the players mentally,” Maitin said.

This is not first Sefotha-fotha misses out on promotion at the death after leading the pack throughout the season, the same happened in the 2012/13 campaign when they were pipped at the finish line by Mphatlalatsane.

Maitin said a lack of concentration could be the reason why they are always left disappointed and asserted Sefotha-fotha have to learn from this experience.

“I think maybe we lose concentration, or we become too overjoyed. I don’t know because it is true, it is not the first time we fail to get promotion even after leading the rest of the season,” he said.

“Right now all we can do is to console ourselves and go back to the drawing board and regroup. We have to analyse our mistakes so that it does not happen again; we have to go back and prepare for next season. Next time we will try to do everything in time, finish early and not wait for the last minute to gain promotion,” Maitin added.

Meanwhile, Butha-Buthe Warriors coach Motlatsi Thilinyane was over the moon at his side’s promotion.

“I am really happy that we reached this milestone. Dedication and determination from the players was key to their success. But, I always say God is above everything, he is the one with all the power to make everything come true. We are really happy,” Thilinyane enthused.

“There was a particular moment when I personally gave up,” he also admitted. “It was after we played a draw with Roaring Lions. I felt that was a game we should have won but we drew. I wondered that, if we drew a game that we were supposed to win, how we are going to win the following games. But the players responded very well after.”

Thilinyane said Warriors are aware the stakes are higher in the premier league and they are already preparing for next season.

Thilinyane said they will reinforce the team with experienced players to ensure they remain in the top-flight.

“We will try to strengthen our team because we want to stay in the premier league and we know it is not easy. This is the time when I start window shopping. We will add a few experienced players. We have already identified a few (players) and we have started talking,” he revealed.

A-Division log standings

North stream

    P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Butha-Buthe Warriors 18 9 6 3 22 13 9 33
2 Sefotha-fotha 18 9 6 3 29 21 8 33
3 Galaxy 18 8 7 3 26 13 13 31
4 Nyenye Rovers 18 8 7 3 35 25 10 31
5 Naughty Boys 18 7 4 7 23 22 1 25
6 Lithabaneng Golden 18 7 3 8 24 18 6 24
7 Lerotholi Polytechnic 18 6 8 4 20 16 4 20
8 Roaring Lions 18 3 5 10 14 37 -23 14
9 CCX 18 4 2 13 17 32 -15 11
10 Moholisa City Stars 18 3 4 11 15 28 -13 10

 

South stream

    P W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Sky Battalion 18 12 4 2 31 13 18 40
2 Van Rooyen United 18 9 4 5 23 16 7 31
3 Manonyane 18 8 6 4 16 11 5 30
4 Melele 18 9 2 7 19 21 -2 26
5 Mangau 18 7 3 8 15 21 -6 24
6 Fisters 18 3 8 7 19 21 -2 17
7 Roma Boys 18 5 5 8 18 23 -5 17
8 Majantja 18 4 7 7 18 18 0 16
9 Qoaling Highlanders 18 5 4 9 17 23 -6 16
10 MFT Stars 18 4 5 9 15 24 -9 14
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