A KATLEHO Makateng was all that LDF needed to edge Bantu 1-0 in a Vodacom Premier League match at Ratjomose Ground yesterday.
Bantu had last played a league match in July before the Covid-19 induced lockdown halted the action. They hoped to resume their campaign on a positive note but this was not to be as they succumbed to LDF who were also out to keep the momentum after narrowly beating Liphakoe 1-0 last month.
Despite their lengthy inactivity, Bantu did not show any signs of rust. The game started on a high tempo as both teams sought an early goal. With just three minutes on the clock, Bantu’s Itumeleng Falene fired over as he sought to test goalkeeper, Likano Mphuti’s ability between the sticks.
The home side did not have to wait long for what proved to be the winner. Makateng converted from the spot in the 9th minute. The penalty was awarded for Bantu’s debutant keeper, Motlatsi Sebapala’s foul on Tšepo Toloane.
On 14 minutes, Bantu had a chance to level matters but Neo Mokhachane headed over Lazola Jokojokwana’s cross from the right.
Bantu returned again on 28 minutes but Hlompho Kalake’s first attempt of the day was easily smothered by Mphuthi.
Then it was LDF’s turn to fluff their lines through Bonang who failed to guide his header downwards to give his team a 2-goal cushion.
The second half began with Bantu brining on Setho Moshoeshoe in place of Mokone Marabe. As the half wore on, the Mafeteng outfit brought on Johannes Molapo for Tau Masiu.
But LDF clung on their lead. The army side eventually made a double substitution of their own, bringing on Lepheane Mofolo and Thaahane Mokhehle for defenders, Letlatsa Moshoeshoe and Paul Moloi respectively.
LDF coach, Motheo Mohapi, also shuffled the front pack, pulling out strikers, Mohapi and Makateng for veteran Mojela Letsie and Thabang Rabi respectively.
An elated Mohapi hailed his charges for seeing off the defending champions, saying the victory would certainly give them motivation going forward.
“Having won our first game of the resumption of the league, winning today against Bantu is a huge motivation going forward,” Mohapi said in the post-match interview.
“Our plan was to utilize our speed knowing fully well that Bantu lack speed at the back. That worked really well for us,” Mohapi said.
Bantu assistant coach, Liteboho Mokhesi, was naturally disappointed with the outcome. He said this was not a good start for them but backed his charges to bounce back in their next outing.
“In terms of individual performance, our players did well even though the result was not what we had hoped for. We have been inactive for a long time and I think lack of match fitness worked against us,” Mokhesi said.
Elsewhere, the log leaders Matlama maintained their grip on the top spot by beating LCS 1-0. LMPS won 1-2 away to Sefotha-Fotha.