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…as Lioli bow out after draw

 

Pascalinah Kabi

 

 

 

Lioli . . . . 0

Bantu . . . 0

 

 

MASERU — Lioli have finally surrendered their title after their goal-less draw against Bantu yesterday handed Matlama the Vodacom Premier League championship.

With one match to go, yesterday’s result at Bambatha Tsita Arena meant Lioli could no longer catch Matlama who went into the weekend programme leading the standings by five points.

It didn’t matter at the end of the day that Matlama had lost 1-0 to LCS in another crunch match across town.

Lioli had hoped to take the title fight to the wire, especially after drubbing Matlama 2-0 last week.

But they were left to rue missed chances as a resolute Bantu held on for a goal-less draw.

Tse Nala’s day was summed up when their normally dependable skipper Thabo Masualle failed to find the mark from the penalty spot in the 78th minute.

The spot kick hit the post, but centre-back Brown Makobe — and everyone at the match — was shocked when he could only blaze the rebound over the bar with the Bantu ‘keeper at his mercy.

Bantu were reduced to 10 men when defender Ngoako Mapheele was red-carded two minutes from time, but it was a little too late for Lioli to take advantage.

Lioli coach Halemakale Mahlaha told Sunday Express his charges could have won had they not fluffed the many scoring chances they created.

“The many stupid mistakes that we made during the game have cost us the league title,” Mahlaha said after the game.

“We ended up settling for this funny draw because we failed to use the many scoring opportunities that we created in the second half.”

Mahlaha said the only thing Lioli could do now was to return to the drawing board to plan for next season.

“We will have to go back to the drawing board and learn from our mistakes so we can prepare intensively for next season,” he said.

 

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