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LCS scrape past Rovers

Teboho Molapo

LCS…………………(2) 2
Roma Rovers…….(0) 1

MASERU — LCS bounced back from their Vodacom Soccer Spectacular final defeat last week with a 2-1 league win over Rovers at the Central Prisons yesterday.
In the end LCS — who rested regulars Mpitsa Marai and Moitheri Ntobo — were probably lucky to collect all three points after Rovers’ Taele Ramaloti’s goal-bound chip was cleared off the line in the 85th minute.
The chance came after a moment of madness by substitute keeper Sam Ketsekile — surprisingly given the nod ahead of Kholoue Phasumane.
“He (Phasumane) has played a lot of minutes and it was a chance to give Ketsekile some game-time,” caretaker LCS coach, Liphapang Motanya, said after the match.
The decision almost cost LCS.
Yet it is amazing the game was still a contest at that stage.
Rovers were simply dreadful, especially in the first half.
The Roma side couldn’t even manage simple passes to one another as LCS completely controlled the tie.
It was, therefore, no surprise when Masheshena took the lead in the 21st minute after the energetic Ralekoti Mokhahlane ran down the right and crossed for Thabane Rankara to score.
Rovers did pose the occasional threat through their big striker Mpho Matsinyane but the hitman could not capitalise on his size-advantage over LCS’s makeshift defence.
And in the 37th minute, Masheshena made it 2-0 when Mokhahlane’s midfield tackle eventually led to Rankara rounding Rovers keeper Phoka Matete, to slot into an empty net.
But Rovers had Matete’s brilliance to thank for the respectable score-line, as the young keeper produced a string of superb saves to keep the Roma side in the game.
His heroics were somehow rewarded 17 minutes into the second half, when an unmarked Mokhotso Phafoli headed-in from a free-kick.
But Rovers’ ill-discipline cost them when their captain Molefi Hlojeng was sent-off for a second bookable offence, just two minutes later.
“I’m disappointed about the result; we were let down by lack of tactical awareness. For the first goal, our wing-half was unable to close play and for the second, our anchor was trying to clear the ball,” Rovers coach, Lepanya Borotho said.
“We really thought we would equalise; we were just unlucky with that chance at the end,” he continued.
That chance came mainly because of complacency from LCS. Masheshena were unable to add to their goal tally, much to the frustration of their pocketful of fans.
“Our boys were still fatigued after last week’s final. The most important thing was to get the win today,” Motanyana said.
“Maybe they were saving themselves for tomorrow,” he added.
In Teyateyaneng, champions Lioli jumped to second place in the Vodacom Premier League after a 2-0 win over LDF.
Yesterday’s Premiership results: Joy 1-0 Bantu; Lioli 2-0 LDF; LCS 2-1 Rovers; Butha-Buthe Roses 0-2 Swallows; Nyenye Rovers 0-2 LMPS; Linare 6-1 Lerotholi Polytechnic; Mphatlalatsane 1-0 Majantja.

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