MASERU — LCS kept their top-four ambitions on track with a surprisingly simple 2-0 victory over rivals Bantu at the Central Prison yesterday.
Played in front of a healthy crowd, the match demonstrated the recent rise of Masheshena and the corresponding fall of Bantu as the Vodacom Premier League reaches its climax.
LCS are now unbeaten since February 13, winning seven and drawing two, while in the same period Bantu have won just twice, collecting seven points from a possible 24.
That difference in form showed on the Central Prison’s green grass.
Bantu’s football throughout was patchy, relying too heavily on playmaker Tefo Maipato who didn’t have his best afternoon.
The Mafeteng side also lacked movement while its players were far apart, making it difficult to keep possession.
To cap it off Bantu once again seemed shy on the big occasion and as a result they were two goals down within the first 15 minuets.
The first goal came in the ninth minute after slack marking in the middle of the park allowed Masheshena to weave a string of passes before the superb Ralekoti Mokhahlane slotted a low right-foot strike into Makhoa Tšoeunyane’s net after a skilful link-up with Motlatsi Rantja.
Three minutes later Tšoeunyane had to pick the ball from his net again after Thabane Rankara’s run and cross found Rantja at the far post after Mabote Sootho’s glaring error.
Left with a simple task Rantja made it 2-0.
Sootho was replaced in the 20th minute and while that seemingly stopped the bleeding it didn’t change the flow of the game.
In contrast, LCS were slick in possession, interchanging positions while their forwards worked their channels well to create space for the midfield to run the show.
Bantu did start the second half better and they were even given a helping hand by the sending off of Tšeliso Khali in the 55th minute following a second yellow card for re-entering the field without the consent of the referee.
But A Matšo Makaota lacked real creativity against a resolute Masheshena defence and their biggest action was Tšepo Makhakhe’s numberless shirt.
With the result, Bantu have slipped four points behind fourth-placed LCS and now have a mountain to climb if they are to make it into the top four.
LCS 2-0 Bantu, Linare 0-1 Majantja, Mphatlalatsane 0-1 LDF, Swallows 1-2 LMPS, Lerotholi 2-1 Joy, Nyenye Rovers vs Rovers (match not played after Rovers no-show).