Bantu (1) 2
Maduma (0) 0
MASERU — Bantu hammered Maduma 2-0 in an entertaining Vodacom Soccer Spectacular semi-final clash at Setsoto Stadium yesterday to advance to the finals where they will take on Matlama this afternoon.In many ways today’s match-up between A Matšo Matebele and Tse Putsoa is the dream final the organisers would have hoped for when they looked at the competition’s four remaining teams.
It is definitely one that has many storylines. For Matlama — Maseru’s Glamour Boys — this afternoon’s final will be their third in as many years. And having won the title in 2009, Mokoena Mohale’s side are seeking to become the first side to win the Soccer Spectacular twice, something which would be another record in their history books. In the black and gold corner, Bantu are also pushing to make history of their own. After winning the Independence Cup just last month, the Mafeteng side too will achieve something never done before by winning the Vodacom Soccer Spectacular and the Independence Cup in the same year. To add more spice to the menu, Bantu coach Ntebele Taole faces his old Matlama team, one with which he still has many ties and which he led to the 2009/10 double.
Taole also comes up against Mohale, his right-hand man during those successes. On the field there are many subplots too.
Having not conceded any goals in the tournament so far, Bantu have the best defence while Matlama’s four goals mean they have the attack. In midfield both teams share a similar philosophy making the engine-room battle an interesting one. It all sets the scene for a titanic battle in today’s final at Setsoto Stadium which has come to host entertainment in 2011. Yesterday saw a good turnout and it should be better today.And if yesterday’s matches are anything to go by then today’s encounter should be a cracker.Bantu had gone into yesterday’s match with Maduma as the favourites and they lived up to their tag with their early play.A Matšo Matebele have looked impressive under Taole and their more big stage experience also showed. Mosiuoa Boseka was outstanding throughout in the thick of things. The midfield base of Tšoloane Mosakeng and Thabiso Mohapi has also been dominant and they controlled the action.They set the platform and maybe it is that pressure that caused the normally reliable Maduma captain Ramakatse Qhobela to handle in the box. And it came at a time when Maduma were finding their feet. It came from a long ball and Mpho Matsinyane trying to flick the ball over found the raised hands of Qhobela. Maduma captain’s mistake gave the chance to Bantu skipper Tlali Maile to score and he duly obliged, to open the scoring in the 12th minute.
Matsinyane however turned from hero to villain when he received a red in the 29th minute for dissent. This briefly threatened to derail Bantu and gave Maduma, who were growing more into the game, more belief. Impressive Maduma right-wing Khathatso Sekonyela hit the post eight minutes later. It was the nature of the game from that point — an entertaining, open game. It became even more open when Maduma’s Sidwell Mothea was sent off for a reckless tackle on Likano Teele after 44 minutes. And just as Bantu had struck early in the first half they did the same in the second. Again it was a sloppy mistake.
And unfortunately again it was Qhobela. A long ball from Ishmael Motseki was misjudged by Qhobela and the speedy Marabe profited to race to the ball and coolly slotted past a stranded Kamohelo Qhobela in the 52nd minute.It could have been game over at that point, but Maduma to their credit kept going with Sekonyela and Tšeliso Chenene at the heart of their attacks.That of course left gaps at the back and Bantu, through Marabe, hit the back of the net twice, but they were both ruled out for offside.In the end it didn’t matter and the lively yellow-dressed Mafeteng supporters were left celebrating.
The people of Mafeteng are getting used to travelling to Maseru and they will be back again today.Maduma too will be back but to face LDF in the third-place playoff before the final. Their disappointment is that they lost because of two lapses.Maybe it could have been them playing Matlama who overcame LDF 2-1 thanks to a quick double strike just after halftime from Jane Thabantšo and Phafa Tšosane.
Tšepiso Letuma pulled one back for LDF, but Tse Putsoa held on to se up a date with Bantu. A whopping M360 000 is on offer for the winners.
Vodacom Soccer Spectacular semi-finals
Matlama 2-1 LDF
Bantu 2-0 Maduma
Maduma vs LDF
Matlama vs Bantu