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Bantu rule the roost


Mikia Kalati

Coach Motlatsi Shale on Sunday led Bantu to their third major trophy since joining the Mafeteng-based outfit in July 2013.

A Matšo Matebele beat Matlama 3-1 to lift the LNIG Top8 trophy at Setsoto Stadium and pocket the M100 000 winners’ prize.

The former national team striker, who previously coached another premier league side, Likhopo, said he was “very happy” to win yet another trophy with Bantu after clinching the premiership title last season and Independence Cup in 2013.

“It was very important to add another trophy to our cabinet,” Shale said.

“Credit should go to the players who worked very hard since this competition started and played so well in the semi-final and final to win this trophy.”

Shale further said he had been “a bit surprised” with the team’s flawless performance in Saturday’s semi-final, in which they beat Likhopo 3-0 before yet another convincing 3-1 victory over Matlama in the final.

“I’m always very happy when I bring success to the team. We worked extremely hard as a technical team, to ensure the  players were ready for the tournament. We had a plan coming to these matches and I’m pleased to say it all worked well for us,” said Shale.

“Our management should also take credit for giving us the necessary support that has resulted in this success.”

Club captain, Tlali Maile, also said the team had been determined to lift the trophy. Maile was rock solid in defence in the two matches and credited the wins to a sound game-plan and meticulous planning by the coaches.

“We had a good game-plan coming to these matches because we knew the semi-final against Likhopo would not be easy as they have been playing well of late,” Maile said.

“And after that win, confidence was high among the players, but we still kept our feet on the ground and concentrated on the final. I think in the end, we were deserving winners of this very important tournament.”

Meanwhile, with the winners taking home M100 000, runners-up Matlama walked away with M80 000, while third-placed LCS received M60 000 and Likhopo, in fourth place, were presented with M50 000. All the quarterfinalists—Lioli, LDF, Linare and Qoaling Highlanders—received M30 000 each.

Sponsored by the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG), this annual tournament involves teams that would have ended the previous premier league season in the top eight.

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