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Fight back to grab draw

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Teboho Molapo

Bantu . . . . . . . . . (2) 2
LDF . . . . . . . . . . (0) 2

MAFETENG — LDF yesterday again showed their legendary fighting spirit when they fought back from two goals down to wrestle a 2 — 2 draw against Bantu.
The result means LDF will remain on top of the Vodacom Premier League log regardless of what happens in the other games this weekend, and leaves Sohle-Sohle unbeaten.
Ominous signs are already showing.
The Ratjomose side have 11 points, with three wins and two draws from their five games this season.
Their comeback against one of their main championship rivals was a message, according to LDF coach Motheo Mohapi.
“It depends on how the other teams will see it but we are not a team that will be beaten easily (this season).
“If we were able to come back from two goals against a quality opponent it shows the self-belief and the fighting spirit that is in this team,” Mohapi said.
It was also a reminder of LDF’s ability to scrape points, as Tšepiso Letuma and Pusetso Tolo grabbed a point from the jaws of defeat in front on expectant and hostile Mafeteng crowd.
For big spending Bantu the overriding feeling will be disappointment not just because they let slip a comfortable two-goal lead but because A Matšo Matebele were the better side in the game apart from the five-minute spell in which LDF scored their two goals.
Bantu’s intentions to win had been made clear during the build up to the game and they were transported into the performance on the pitch.
From very early on they looked to put an exclamation mark on the news that Ntebele Taole is the head coach despite protestations otherwise from Bantu’s management during the week.
And even without the suspended duo of Lekhanya Lekhanya and Thabiso Mohapi Bantu were still the better side in the opening exchanges.
Their efforts were rewarded early as Likano Teele steered the ball past Relebohile Qejoa from a corner in the 21st minute.
The goal spurred Bantu forward.
Mokone Marabe was a thorn upfront and at the back captain Tlali Maile was marshalling with a plomb.
After a period of sustained pressure Maile showed he can be a menace on the other end as he slotted home a 41st minute penalty to give Bantu a 2 — 0 halftime lead.
At that stage Bantu’s fans surely must have felt the points would all be staying in Mafeteng, but LDF had other plans.
Two squared balls, an LDF speciality, led to confusion in the Bantu defence firstly for Letuma’s goal in the 66th minute and then for Tolo’s equaliser three minutes later.
Bantu relentlessly pushed forward and could have snatched all three points but in the dying minutes Marabe spurned a glorious chance, much to the relief of LDF and their coach Mohapi.
“Coming from 2 — 0 down I can say we are satisfied, but of course we wanted to win. We added more fighting spirit in the second half,” Mohapi said.
Bantu will face LDF again in the Independence Cup next weekend.
“I am in charge of the team now and I’m fixing it. Right now I’m not looking at the league, I’m looking at the cup competitions. The league is a long-term project,” Bantu coach Taole said afterwards.
“Today we played very well and we should have won 2 — 0. But I can see we are improving as a team. I have been here for a week and three days and there are still some areas we are looking to organise,” Taole said.
In Khukhune, Maduma made it three wins from three with a 3 — 1 win over Matlama.
The win moves Maduma to second place. Likhopo, like neighbours Matlama, are also in trouble after they lost 1 — 0 to Mpharane Celtics.
But the big news was in Mafeteng, a match that was attended by Sports Minister ‘Mathabiso Lepono.
Bantu still haven’t beaten LDF since coming back into the Vodacom Premier League in 2009.

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