Connect with us


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


Continue Reading


Rabale eyes Champions League glory



Lesotho women’s team captain Boitumelo Rabale has her eyes on winning her second CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns as the tournament gets underway this weekend.
The third edition of the prestigious women’s club football is scheduled for Ivory Coast from November 5-19, where eight clubs will battle it out to be crowned Queens of the continent.

“Queen”, as the Lesotho star is commonly known, was part of the Sundowns squad that was crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the tournament held in Egypt two years ago, becoming the first player from the Mountain Kingdom to taste Champions League success.
She has become one of the key players in Jerry Tshabalala’s squad having walked away with the Hollywoodbets Player of the Season in the previous campaign and currently leads the goal-scoring charts with 21 goals.

“It was exciting to win the CAF Women’s Champions League with Sundowns two years ago and in the process becoming the first player from Lesotho to do so,” Rabale said.

“I felt very lucky and honoured to make history. It gave me confidence to continue working hard and strive for more success with the club”
Sundowns head to the tournament as regional champions after clinching the COSAFA qualifiers to qualify for the continental showpiece, where they will kickstart their campaign against Tanzania’s JKT Queens on Sunday.

Rabale admitted that memories of losing the last final to AS FAR still haunts them, but they head to Ivory Coast a better team than in the last tournament.

“We learnt the hard way when we lost in the final to AS FAR and we come back a better team having rectified our mistakes.

“It’s our dream to conquer the continent again and I have no doubt that we have what it takes to get our second star in Ivory Coast.

“It will be very good to add the second CAF Champions League medal to my trophy cabinet,” she said.

The 27-year-old has been prolific for Sundowns this campaign having scored nine goals in her last five matches to take her tally for this campaign to 21 goals.
Sundowns are in Group A alongside tournament hosts, Athletico Abidjan, Sporting Casablanca of Morocco, as well as Tanzania’s JKT Queen.

Since joining Sundowns in 2021, Rabale has won the Hollywoodbets Super League twice, the COSAFA Zonal qualifiers twice as well as the CAF Women’s Champions League and is the reigning Hollywoodbets Player of the season.

Tlalane Phahla

Continue Reading


Red Skins fail to raise funds for championship



Lesotho volleyball giants Red Skins have failed to raise funds for the 2023 Zone 6 Senior Indoor Volleyball Club Championship they are set to host in December.

Red Skins will host the competition together with four other local volleyball clubs – Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Station (LMPS) and Rivers – and the tournament is expected to start on December 7 and end 10 days later.

Without any funds or sponsors coming in, Red Skins will have to foot the bill from their pockets for the tournament which will see teams from 10 countries converge on Maseru.

Among the participating nations, Botswana is expected to bring the biggest contingent with 12 teams, with Zambia following closely behind with nine teams while Zimbabwe is set to be represented by six teams.

Two weeks ago, Red Skins participated in the Elite Cup in Gauteng, South Africa, which was hosted by Aqua Darshan Volleyball.
Red Skins hoped to win the tournament and return home with a hefty jackpot but they only collected M5 000 which was won by the men’s team.

A gala dinner that Red Skins hosted last weekend also failed to generate income due to low attendance and speaking to thepost on Tuesday, the club’s vice-captain, Moleboheng Mofolo, said they will have to push on with what they have to host the tournament.
Mofolo said they no longer have time to come up with other means to raise funds.

“Tournaments will require us to find sponsorships and we do not have time now, we have to focus and train well,” Mofolo said.

“Our coach already told us to camp from this week but rain is our biggest challenge because we cannot continue with the training,” she added.

Mofolo said Red Skins are fortunate that participating teams are going to take care of their accommodation and catering. She said if Red Skins had to provide those services, they would not have been able to manage.

She pleaded with individuals, organisations and companies to help the team, whether it is by offering accommodation, food, or whatever little they may have.

Tlalane Phahla

Continue Reading


Giants avoid each other in Top 4 clash



Women Super League (WSL) giants Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies and Kick4Life Ladies have avoided each other in the WSL Top 4 knockout competition.
The two-day showpiece takes centre stage this weekend at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena and it will see last season’s top four finishers in the league – LDF, Kick4Life, Lijabatho and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Ladies – go head-to-head for bragging rights.

The draw for the competition took place last Friday and the semi-finals will see LDF go up against Lijabatho while Kick4Life will take on LMPS Ladies.
Both semi-finals will be played on Saturday with the tournament culminating the following day.

Sunday’s proceedings will kick-off with a third-place playoff game to determine who walks away with the bronze medals before the final later in the day.
All four games over the two days will be streamed on the FIFA+ website and the WSL Top 4 will usher in a new sponsor this year.

In the past, the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) fully bankrolled the competition, however, Computer Business Solutions (CBS) has come on board with a sponsorship for the first time.

The competition’s prize monies have not been revealed because they are still being finalised, but, speaking at last Friday’s draw, LEFA’s associations secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said the relationship with CBS is one that sport should engage in.
Mohapi added his hopes that the relationship will be a long-term one.

“While others are busy at their thing, we should really grow ours so that when their distraction finally ends, they find us as united as we can be as the football community,” Mohapi said.
“(We should be) united by the efforts and inputs that emanate from the business community, especially when it is a truly Lesotho business entity because other (foreign entities) are here to take money,” he said.

Addressing CBS as the tournament’s sponsor, Mohapi said: “We are thankful as LEFA for your initiative; (we) hope you will be in this marriage quite long. We know we are just testing the waters but we have a lot that can entice you to stay longer, not only my command but the instruments that we have.”

Mohapi said LEFA’s dream is that in two years’ time all league matches will be streaming on the FIFA+ platform which was launched last April by football’s world governing body to increase exposure of men and women’s football around the globe.

Currently, only three grounds in the country have the structures for broadcasting; Bambatha as well as the grounds at LDF and Lesotho Correctional Service grounds, and all are in Maseru.
LEFA plans to add more grounds to the list with the DIFA facilities in Maputsoe and Mohale’s Hoek set to be the first to follow suit.

“All our women’s competitions, cup competitions and (Vodacom) Premier League matches that will be played in those stadia that have our infrastructure – we will be able to stream those games internationally,” Mohapi said.

“We have extended our footprint,” he added.

“We are now doing LDF – we have already put up the structure – then we are moving to Maputsoe and, hopefully, Mohale’s Hoek. It is our desire that in two years’ time we will hopefully cover all the matches and put them on the FIFA+ streaming platform.”

WSL Top 4 fixtures:
Saturday (Bambatha)
Lijabatho Ladies vs. LDF Ladies
LMPS Ladies vs. Kick4Life Ladies

Tlalane Phahla

Continue Reading