…as LMPS sink Lioli
KICK4LIFE’S 10 men hung on to their early lead to grind out a 1-nil win over Matlama in the first leg of the LNIG Top8 at Maputsoe Difa Ground tournament yesterday.
In the first match of the double header played at the same venue, Lioli also lost by a single goal to LMPS.
Kick4Life were the first to settle and their industry was rewarded just three minutes into the match.
Bonang Mohapi, collected Tsepang Ntsenyane’s flick behind Matlama defender, Michael Mireku, and did not waste the chance poking the ball into the nets leaving the goalkeeper, Monaheng Ramasimong, in disbelief.
Seven minutes later, Kick4Life were at it again only for Nkoto Masoabi’s effort to be ruled out for off side.
Matlama tried to fight back and their first chance came in the 25th minute from Lebajoa Mosehlenyane.
The right winger received Nzenze Nkulu’s cross unmarked just outside the box but he shot straight at Kick4Life goalkeeper, Thetsane Sele.
Matlama kept pushing and came close again in the 31st minute but Jane Thabantso’s shot narrowly missed the target.
Kick4Life made their first substitute on 58 minutes brining on Mokoteli Mohapi for Motlalepula Chabeli.
Both teams continued to trade blows and Matlama also made their first change with Thabantso making way for Mabuti Potloane.
The change did not make any impact on the match forcing them to make their second substitute with striker Lehlomela Ramabele being introduced for Kefuoe Mahula.
Tse Putsoa pilled on the pressure but found the Kick4Life unyielding.
Mosehlenyane caught the Kick4Life backline napping on 73 minutes but he was unlucky to see his cracker hitting the wood work.
Kick4Life introduced striker, Norman Kumatsi, for Ntsenyane in the 75th minute.
Ramabele connected Mosehlenyane’s cross from the right but he directed his free header sail over the bar.
Kick4Life were reduced to 10 men after Mohapi was red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Mosehlenyane with 10 minutes to go.
Matlama wasted another chance on 90 minutes when Teboho Lillane shot straight at the goalkeeper from a set piece from 10 metres outside the 10-yard box.
Kick4Life then introduced Moorosi Tsiu for Masoabi in the referee’s optional time.
Matlama’s last chance for an equaliser was again squandered as Mosehlenyane was denied by the cross bar three minutes into additional time.
In post-match interview Matlama coach, Mosito Matela, said he was disappointed but said they would go back to drawing board.
“We started on the back foot and that worked against us,” Matela said.
“But at least there will be a second chance so we just need to go back to the drawing board and rectify our mistakes.”
Kick4Life coach, Leslie Notsi, was elated with the win and heaped praises on his charges.
“It was a tough game against a big team but I am happy for my boys as they showed a lot of character.
“We came prepared to fight and we played like we planned and it worked for us. The second leg match is not going to be an easy one for us so we have to prepare thoroughly,” he said.