Bantu reject ‘Invincibles’ tag

Bantu reject ‘Invincibles’ tag

MASERU – Bantu coach Bob Mafoso has played down talk of his side being ‘invincible’ saying it is too early to be thinking of going unbeaten this season.
‘A Matšo Matebele’ are top of the Econet Premier League with 40 points. They have won 13 of their 14 league games and have just one draw on their near spotless record.

Bantu are already 12 points ahead of second-placed Matlama and their dominance has raised talk of the Mafeteng giants possibly going unbeaten for the whole season.
Mafoso admitted it is a possibility but he insisted remaining undefeated is not Bantu’s main focus.

“We are taking it one game at a time,” Mafoso said.
Worryingly for their rivals, however, Bantu are getting healthier with Bokang Sello and Mpho Moiea back in training after injury layoffs.

Mafoso said he also hopes to have Lesotho international defender Motlomelo Mkhwanazi available on Saturday against Kick4Life after he completed his move from Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) in South Africa last week.
Mafoso said the key to the Mafeteng side’s success has been their continuity with a large portion of the squad having been part of Bantu’s title-winning teams in 2017 and 2018 under James Madidilane who departed at the end of last season.

The list includes in-form stars such as Litšepe Marabe, Lazola Jokojokwane and Hlompho Kalake and Mafoso said Bantu are reaping the rewards of the players’ familiarity.

“We have quality players and experienced players who have been playing for a long time, it also shows why keeping a team together for continuity is a good thing and what you get,” said Mafoso who took charge of Bantu last August.
“I think that’s the two things that have helped us: the quality of the players and the seasons they have spent playing together. It is helping with continuity.”

Mafoso said Bantu remain focused on winning silverware and are not getting ahead of themselves. He reiterated that nothing has been won yet by ‘A Matšo Matebele’ this season.
“Another thing that is important is hunger,” Mafoso said.
“We don’t have anything but we want to have everything. That’s the spirit we have and we have the support of the fans. The challenges are there, but I think we are doing well so far,” he added.

Mafoso will no doubt smile at the fixture list as well. On Saturday his charges face Kick4Life again, just days after thrashing them 4-1 in last weekend’s LNIG Top 8 quarterfinal first legs.
If that wasn’t enough, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ demolished Kick4Life 5-0 last month when the teams met in the league.

Mafoso, however, preached caution saying Bantu now have a target on their backs from the other 13 teams in the Econet Premier League.
“I think it boils down to respect,” he said.
“Every team we play against we are trying to give them the respect they deserve. I think with Kick4Life they have not been lucky that the two games we played against them have been on good grounds; the LCS ground was in good condition and the other game was at Setsoto,” the former Kick4Life mentor continued.

“In terms of preparing, this game is not different from others,” Mafoso added.
He said Bantu have to remain in top gear.
“Sometimes you are playing and everything is just happening as planned, (but) sometimes when you are playing you realise that anything that could have gone wrong that day goes wrong,” Mafoso explained.

Meanwhile, for Kick4Life facing Bantu again is their worst nightmare.
In fact, Katiso Mojakhomo and his charges must be wondering if the football gods have deserted them.

The past few weeks have been a disaster for Kick4Life and Mojakhomo’s position at the club is becoming more precarious by the week.
Mojakhomo, a two-time league winner with LCS in 2007 and 2008, arrived as Mafoso’s replacement at Kick4Life at the beginning of the season but things haven’t gone according to plan.

The Old Europa side are ninth in the league and have won just four of their 14 games. Kic4Life’s poor form means Mojakomo is in danger of the sack unless he miraculously turns things around.
It all means that – for different reasons – when Mafoso and Mojakhomo face off again on Saturday, a defeat will not be an option for either.

Tlalane Phahla


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