LCS . . . . . . . . . . (0) 2
Swallows . . . . . . (0) 0
MASERU — LCS moved back to the top of the Vodacom Premier League Log thanks to a hard fought 2-0 win over Swallows at Central Prison yesterday.
The result also had relevance at the opposite end of the table as it means Maswa-swai have been relegated and will join Mabeoana on the boat down to the first division.
However, the real business is at the top and Masheshena will have breathed a huge sigh of relief after being made to work extra hard by a gallant Swallows fighting to retain its pride.
It took two late goals from Lawrence Molengoane and Thabane Rankara to give LCS the points to leapfrog rivals LDF, even if it is only for 24 hours.
Sohle-Sohle host LMPS at Ratjomose this afternoon.
“We have to keep winning,” Masheshena mastermind Mafa Ramakau said afterwards. “We are in competition with LDF.”
This season’s random schedule meant yesterday’s game was Masheshena’s first since a goalless draw with Linare three weeks ago and the rust showed as LCS wasted several glorious chances on a low-key afternoon.
Swallows had conceded eight goals on their previous two visits to the Central Prison, 2-1 last season and 6-0 in 2009, and that coupled with LCS’s goal-scoring form meant this was supposed to be a foregone conclusion.
But it wasn’t, Swallows, again without a coach after the departure of Teele Ntsonyana, started brightly and played their hearts out throughout; their efforts exemplified by the heroics of keeper Pita Nyefolo and keeper-turned-defender Thabo Khoboli.
Upfront though Swallows lacked the cutting edge to trouble LCS and the hosts created more chances.
But they were wasted with Rankara missing the best of the lot in the 16th minute after he shot wide with just the keeper to beat.
Rankara wasn’t alone; his buddies Molengoane, Thulo Ranchobe and Motlatsi Rantja all didn’t seem to have their shooting boots on while Nyefolo was a thorn in LCS’s side pulling off numerous superb saves in both halves.
With frustration growing a mistake by substitute Teboho Moerane let in Molengoane who squeezed his shot past Nyefolo in the 76th minute.
And in the 81st minute it was 2-0 when Sobhuza Tshabalala’s shot was only parried into the path of Rankara.
For Swallows it is the beginning of building for next season, as caretaker Joele Letsoela said.
“We are preparing for next season and our aim is to honour our remaining games with the same performance that we showed today,” Letsoela said.
For Masheshena every win, every point and every goal is now crucial in the race for the championship.
“I’m satisfied, we are back on top, and we have a big chance,” Ramakau said.
Bantu also claimed a 2-1 win over surprise package Maduma in Khukhune to join LCS and LDF on 45 points, but the Mafeteng side who have played more games than their rivals still remain an outside shot.
LCS now have a tough game against LMPS and Joy, both at home and a tie with Matlama before that match with LDF on the final day that could decide this season’s Vodacom Premier League champions.