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. . . As Matlama, LDF bow out

MASERU — Matlama and LDF’s dreams of winning this year’s Independence Cup trophy went up in smoke yesterday after they lost their semi-final matches to LCS and Bantu respectively at Setsoto Stadium.
The youthful Tse Putsoa squad raised hopes after scoring an early goal to go into the lead against the experienced LCS yesterday.
Matlama opened the scoring through exciting young defender Mkwanazi Mkwanazi.
However, the league champions fought back and levelled the scores through a header from lanky defender Moitheri Ntobo just five minutes before half time.
LCS took the lead in the second half through a Lawrence Molengoana penalty.
Molengoana easily scored from the spot kick to give LCS a 2-1 lead after play-maker Thulo Ranchobe was brought down in the box.
The hard working Ranchobe turned from hero to villain just minutes after winning the penalty when he was shown a straight red card for a crude tackle on Matlama’ two-goal hero Mkwanazi.
The sending off of Ranchobe gave Matlama a chance to come back strongly and forced an equaliser late in the match to tie the game at 2-2 to send the match into penalties.
The 10-man LCS team however were able to soldier on until the 90th minute where the two teams headed for the penalty shoot-out.
LCS veteran goalkeeper Kholuoe Phasumane was brought in just before the final whistle to replace Sam Ketsekile.
That move by LCS technical team paid off as the experienced goal minder was able to stop Mohau Khali’s penalty kick to win the match for the league champions and book a place in today’s final.
Matlama marketing and communications manager, Lesolle Phalatsi, said he was happy with his team’s performance despite failing to make it to the final.
“I think we played very well against a very experienced LCS side,” he said.

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