Lerotholi . . . . . .(0) 0
LDF . . . . . . . . . (0) 2
MASERU – LDF swatted aside Lerotholi 2-0 yesterday at the Central Prison thanks to goals by Bongata Kori and Mojela Letsie.
With this victory the army side remains in the hunt for a record ninth league title, their first since 2004.
The win was Sohle-Sohle’s first over a Lerotholi side that has frequently disrespected them since February 2009. Last season Lihale beat the Ratjomose side 2-1 and 4-1.
For just over an hour it looked like Lerotholi would frustrate LDF again.
At 0-0 anything was still possible, and had Janki Tšoeu or Motlatsi Ratšiu connected with a menacing cross from the right in the 64th minute yesterday’s result could have been different.
Until then the Vodacom Premier League game had been a dreary affair.
The first half did not resemble anything like a premiership match as both sides failed to find rhythm and create any chances.
LDF surprisingly looked uninterested in bagging the win that would move them within three points of rivals LCS on the log while Lerotholi showed why they are stuck in the relegation zone.
The crowd also didn’t do the game any favours and at half-time the ground resembled a funeral parlour.
Things could only improve in the second half and they did, slightly.
The game was changed by LDF’s introduction of Tšepo Keketso for Thabo Mphethe early in the second half and Lesimolle Tšiu some minutes later.
With their play now much improved, Sohle-Sohle now faced a new challenge – scoring. Mojela Letsie missed a glorious header in the 58th minute and then three minutes later Keketsi fluffed his shot wide when one-on-one with Tumelo Ntšoane after showing good skill in the build-up.
In the 65th minute Letsie missed another great opportunity from a cross from right-back Mokoena Moahloli as LDF went down the flanks and aerial in their assault of Lihale’s goals.
The warning signs were there for Lihale.
In the 69th minute Ntšoane did superbly to claw the ball from Letsie’s head with the goal gaping, but from the resultant corner kick Kori scored with a free header to change the game.
LDF were buzzing and five minutes later Matli Matli hit a rasping shot wide.
The game was finally put to bed in the 79th minute when never-say-die Letsie got the better of Kopano Tseka and slotted past Ntšoane to seal all three points.
Again Lerotholi coach Naleli Tšilo was made to rue missed chances.
“We don’t punish people. It makes you lose spirit because these are things we have done well during the week,” Tšilo said.
Lerotholi remain in the relegation zone with five points and six games to go. LDF remain in the hunt for the M100 000 winners’ prize but Sohle-Sohle coach Motheo Mohapi was not happy.
“I’m not satisfied; we played badly and Fokothi could have scored in the first half. We were fortunate to change our game.”
Still, LDF remain where they are always at this time of the year – hunting for silverware.
“We are in there,” Mohapi said. “We are still to play LCS. We are in the race.”