LCS……. 1 (0)
LDF……. 1 (0)
(LDF win 7-6 on penalties)
ROMA — After their record-breaking feat against Arsenal, LCS were brought crashing back down to earth by LDF in the MGC Supa 8 semi-finals yesterday.
And on reflection, Masheshena probably deserved to lose.
LDF won 7-6 on penalties after the sides couldn’t be separated in regulation time.
Following their 14-2 aggregate win over Arsenal in last week’s quarter-finals — and LDF’s unimpressive display against Bantu — Masheshena came into the game as clear favourites.
However, they never reached the heights of last week.
They were short on inspiration and cutting-edge to break down LDF, who as usual were content to soak up the pressure and hit their opponents on the break.
Still, LDF did have some openings, arguably the better of the two sides, but they missed the cutting edge of Lire Phiri — dropped after his poor performance against Bantu.
Even though his replacement brought more life to the soldiers’ attack, he lacked Phiri’s killer instinct.
The result was a first-half devoid of any clear-cut chances.
But as they say goals change games, barely a minute after the restart LDF’s Bongata Kori found the net after shoddy LCS defending allowed the forward space and time to blast past Kholoue Phasumane.
Stung by the goal LCS were finally forced into action with their main instigator being Ramashalane Taeli.
In three angry minutes he had two attempts at Sello Ramakau’s goal.
For the next 15 minutes LDF were unable to get out of their half as LCS huffed and puffed to break through the army men’s rearguard.
In the 62nd minute that wall was finally brought down when the shortest man on the field, Thabane Rankara, out-jumped the tallest man, Lesoetsa Maliele, to flick the ball to the dynamic Taeli.
After his shot was saved by Ramakau, the rebound fell onto Thulo Ranchobe who blasted into an unguarded net.
The build-up to the goal wasn’t in keeping with the game.
It was a measured, patient passage in which Pholo Mafatlane, Khoto Sesinyi and Lieta Lehloka were all involved.