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Bantu in positive return

by Sunday Express
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Moorosi Tsiane

BANTU returned to Econet premier League action on a positive note registering a 2-0 victory over the relegation threatened Galaxy at Setsoto Stadium yesterday.

The James Madidilane coached outfit last played in the league on the 5th of this month against Likhopo and has since been busy with the CAF Confederations Cup.

Litšepe Marabe and second half substitute, Tsietsi Motšeare, were both on target to help Bantu move one step up from seventh to sixth on the log before today matches with 22 points. However, the loss fixated the league newcomers, Galaxy, to bottom of the table.

In the first half, both sides did not show zeal to win the match as they both spent time with the ball in the midfield.

However, Galaxy suffered from a lapse in concentration towards the end of the first stanza but Bantu failed to capitalise on the mistake as Marabe shot straight at Ntsane Molise on the 37th minute from a Lazola Tjokotjokwana through ball.

A minute later, it was Tjokotjokwana who wasted yet another glorious chance as he also shot straight at the keeper.

Molise stood his ground on the stroke of half-time saving Tsietsi Khooa’s cracker from just outside the penalty area as Bantu appeared to fire from all cylinders.

Immediately after the break, Bantu withdrew Tumelo Maine who failed to impress his technical team for Motšeare.

Three minutes after the break, Marabe produced a moment of brilliance evading three Galaxy players before he easily chipped into the goal to put his side in the lead sending the supporters into frenzy.

Galaxy were now struggling to match their opponents’ firepower and to stoke the pressure, A Matšo Matebele pulled out Tšeliso Ramafikeng who was struggling for Sentle Masale on the 57th minute.

Galaxy followed suit bringing in Moeketsi Malibeng for Tlou Billet while their second substitute came 10 minutes later with Tuoane Mpholle making way for Mokhothu Matooane.

Molise made another impressive save parrying Tjokotjokwana’s spot kick for a corner after Karabo Lekaka handled the ball inside the box forcing referee Thabo Nkhahle to point at the spot on the 74th minute.

Bantu kept Galaxy at bay and even though they enjoyed huge amounts of possession in the centre of the park, they remained sterile.

The visitors could have found an equaliser eight minutes before time through a powerful shot from Tabo Mafatle from outside the box but Fusi Ranone saved the day for his side.

Motšeare wrapped up match for Bantu on the 85th minute when he easily tapped into the far corner a Masale defence splitting pass which found him with only the keeper to beat.

Bantu ended the match one player short after defender Khooa was sent off for accruing two yellow cards on the 87th minute.

A tactical change was immediately made with defender Johannes Molapo coming in for Tjokotjokwana.

Despite the win, Madidilane however, decried that his side was not ruthless enough.

“I am not too happy with how we played because we created chances but failed to convert,” Madidilane lamented adding: “We lacked that ruthlessness especially when attacking”.

“Our build ups were very slow and I think we could have scored many goals because Galaxy was not marking.”

On Khooa’s red card, Madidilane said he will have to work with the available players in the next match.

“I really don’t know what happened but I have to focus on the team and use whoever is available. I had warned Khooa even before the match that he is now a referees’ target because of his aggression,” Madidilane said.

Elsewhere in other league matches, LDF suffered a shock 2-0 defeat against Likhopo at Ratjomose Ground while Kick4Life returned to winning ways edging Majantja 1-0 at LCS Ground.

Lioli on the other hand continued with their impressive run putting six behind a 10-man Swallows with no reply at Teyateyaneng Ground.

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