LCS are in the semis of the LNIG Top8 tournament after getting the better of Likhopo in the quarterfinal of the lucrative championship whose winner rakes in a cool M100 000.
The 2-0 aggregate win ensured Mpitsa Marai’s charges continued with their splendid form and now face Bantu in the semifinal set for 9 April at either Setsoto Stadium or Maputsoe Difa Ground depending on what venue the organisers eventually settle on.
The other semi is between Lioli and LDF, also on 9 April, with the final taking place the following day.
I am not at all surprised LCS and LDF beat Likhopo and Matlama respectively, enroute to the Last Four since both government teams have been on song since the start of the premier league season.
Prevailing over the Red Army and Tse Putsoa is never easy but this is exactly what LCS and LDF did to boot out two of the most popular teams in the Kingdom.
But like I said, the wins did not surprise me for the simple reason that the two giants are slowly regaining the glamour they used to possess when they were the teams to beat in Lesotho not so long ago.
There is no doubt that LCS have improved tremendously since Marai took over the coaching reins at the start of the season and are currently second on the Vodacom Premier League with nine matches to play before the season comes to a close. Lioli top the charts with 37 points to LCS’ 35, but Tse Nala have a game in hand over Masheshena.
This weekend was supposed to be a defining moment for the league championship as LCS were set to tackle Lioli. However, the match had to be postponed because Lioli are in Burundi for the return leg of their preliminary round Champions League qualifier against Vital’Ô Football Club.
But it is worth noting the correctional service side have registered eight straight wins in all competitions since December, which shows how well they are doing under Marai.
For a team that had struggled so much over the past four seasons, this change of fortune could only mean roping in Marai was a masterstroke by the LCS management. Masheshena have since become comfortable on the ball and are capable of beating any team, and not by chance but solid, if not entertaining, football.
Against Bantu in the LNIG Top8 semifinal, fans should expect a real thriller, and I wouldn’t miss the match for anything.
Yet not many gave Marai a chance when he took over from Katiso Mojakhomo in August last year, but the former national team player has proved he has what it takes to be head-coach of one of Lesotho’s biggest teams.
Lioli and Bantu had dominated domestic football for the past five seasons, but it appears LDF and LCS are out to end that stranglehold.
I must admit it feels good to have an unpredictable league, which is why I am so much extoling the virtues of LCS and LDF. Third-placed Matlama, fourth-placed Likhopo, fifth-placed Sundawana, sixth-placed Bantu and seventh-placed LDF are all in with a shout for the league title, alongside Lioli and LCS, and this is healthy for our league.