MASERU — Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) edged LCS by two goals to one in a league encounter played at a soggy Central Prison pitch yesterday.
The hard-fought victory lifted the army side to second place on the Vodacom Premier League log.
The victory also confirmed that LDF will certainly be in the title picture come judgment day in May.
And although LDF’s march was not as smooth as it has been in previous seasons, the army side has registered five wins without suffering any defeat in nine matches this season.
Sohle-Sohle now have 19 points and in what is an unpredictable season every point gained is sure to count, especially against a potential title rival.
Sadly for LCS it was three precious points dropped.
In what has been a slow-burning season, Masheshena were again guilty of shooting too many blanks.
“It was a tough game but we could have won. It (goal-scoring) is still a problem, we are missing clear goals,” a downbeat LCS coach Mafa Ramakau said after the game.
Despite both teams going into the match unbeaten in the league, LCS were undoubtedly the better side in the first half.
Lieta Lehloka, Tšeliso Khali and Motlatsi Rantja all missed great chances for Masheshena in the opening exchanges before Rantja hit the post and then contrived to shoot straight at Sello Ramakau in the 42nd minute when it looked easier to score.
As is usually the case in football LCS’s wastefulness was punished.
LDF had won 1-0 and 3-0 on their last two visits here and a minute before halftime, substitute Mafoafoa Lephoto expertly latched on to Thabo Mphethe’s fine through pass to put Sohle-Sohle on the path to victory.
Lephoto replaced the injured Janefeke Molibeli in what was a physical encounter.
LDF further bruised LCS just two minutes after the break when Mojela Letsie flicked Malefetsane Pheko’s free-kick into an empty net after LCS keeper Kholoue Phasumane misjudged the flight of the ball.
LCS’ reply was swift with veteran winger Kutloisiso Nthonyana blasting a left-footed shot home in the 53rd minute.
But Masheshena had left themselves with too high a mountain to climb. LDF are a savvy team and they cunningly held on to claim all three points and announce themselves as genuine title contenders.
Meanwhile, the top two sides from last season, Matlama and Lioli, are away from home to lowly opposition this afternoon seeking to revive their seasons.
Champions Matlama travel to Mazenod to face Swallows on the back of a slow start that has seen Tse Putsoa come into the weekend’s action above the relegation zone only on goal difference.
2008/09 champions Lioli will do battle with struggling Lerotholi at the Central Prison, a match which could see the debut of Lioli’s big name signing Teboho Nthako who has been poached from Bantu.
Meanwhile, Lesotho’s Under-23 team lost 3-0 to Malawi yesterday in the first leg of their All Africa Games preliminary round qualifier.
The team’s head of delegation Khiba Mohoanyane blamed the result on complacency.
“I must confess, we did not play the same as usual. The players were very relaxed and as such we got punished,” Mohoanyane told the Sunday Express from Malawi.