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Gripping finale to premier league race


Moorosi Tsiane

The race for the Vodacom Premier League title is finally coming to an end and Matlama appear the only threat to Lioli defending the championship.

The country’s two top guns went into yesterday’s match tied on 52 points but with defending champions Lioli top of the 14-team table because of a seven-goal difference.

LCS are third with 43 points and effectively out of the title race because they can only accumulate 52 points if they win their remaining three matches of the season.

Masheshena have been outstanding this campaign and were very unfortunate to choke in their last two matches which ended in draws against Rovers and Likhopo, denting their chances of winning the title.

After winning the LNIG Top 8 title a few weeks ago, I think Lioli are more motivated than Matlama to win the league championship.

And considering the quality at their disposal, the Teyateyaneng-based outfit should win domestic football’s most prestigious accolade.

On the other hand, Matlama are chasing their 10th league title and have been a dynamic force since Moses Maliehe took over as coach at the start of the season.

Maliehe’s relatively youthful side has been a marvel to watch particularly going forward and it is no wonder they are challenging for the title.

Over the past three seasons, the league title race has been between Lioli and Bantu but the latter have had a disastrous outing and are even struggling for a top-four finish.

However, I would wanted to see them up there challenging Lioli and Matlama for the title just to spice things up a bit.

Again for the past four seasons, the league title has been won with a few matches to spare but that’s not the case now and this is what makes the league more entertaining this time around.

It is also interesting to see the relegation battle between Mphatlalatsane, Linare, Likila United, Rovers, Liphakoe and LMPS.

But poor officiating remains the biggest worry now that teams are all out for maximum points in each and every match.

Hopefully, referees will remain objective in their officiating and resist the temptation to take bribes and then influence the outcome of matches.

Teams spend so much money to play in the premier league so it’s simply unfair that a referee can make them lose because of greed.

I know referees are human and are bound to make mistakes but these should be genuine and something born out of the need to make money.

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