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LDF stun Matlama


Moorosi Tsiane

A second-half tap-in from defender Koporale Motanyane was enough to give LDF a hard-fought 1-0 win against Matlama in the LNIG Top8 quarterfinal first leg match played at LCS Ground yesterday.

LDF caught Matlama by surprise when they started the match at a canter as they pushed for an early goal.

Five minutes into the match, LDF’s efforts nearly paid off when Matlama goalkeeper Makhetha Thakeli was forced to make a double save from veteran midfielder Lekoekoe Molefe’s well taken set-piece about 10 meters from the penalty box.

Sohle-Sohle kept piling the pressure, forcing the Sea Point outfit to make a first half substitution as midfielder Relebohile Mabone made way for Tankiso Makhutla in the 25th minute.

The substitution seemed to be working for Matlama as they started to find their rhythm with  Makhutla, Kefuoe Mahula and Phafa Tšosane combining well in the middle of the park.

Matlama winger Jane Thabantšo then played a neat one-two with Tšosane and but unfortunately, the former’s goal was ruled offside.

In an effort to bounce back into the match, LDF made a double substitution with Tšeliso Chaba and Tšeliso Phera making way for Tankiso Tometsi and Morapeli Talasi three minutes before the half-time break.

Matlama could have gone into the break one-goal up but LDF were lucky again as Tšosane’s well-placed shot hit the woodwork in the 45th minute.

Immediately after the halftime break, LDF introduced Janefeke Molibeli for Mohloai Koete to pack their midfield.

But it was Matlama who nearly took the lead 10 minutes later when striker Motebang Sera should have done better and put his side ahead.

LDF then started to see more of the ball in the second stanza but could not get the much-needed breakthrough past Matlama’s defence well marshaled by Tšeliso Ramathe and Thabo Lepolesa.

Matlama then introduced Mpho Matsinyane for Hopolang Mohlalefi in the 80th minute, but the change did not bear fruit.

Thakeli once again blundered when he failed to deal with Molefe’s set-piece and this time around Motanyane was close by and he just tapped the ball into an empty goal to send the crowd into a frenzy five minutes before the final whistle.

In a post-match interview, Matlama coach Moses Maliehe said he was with the result.

“I don’t even know what to say to you; I mean we created chances but failed to convert them.

“We conceded after a silly mistake but that is the game of football; these things happen. But believe me, we will bounce back in the second leg,” Maliehe said.

LDF coach Motheo Mohapi, on the other hand, hailed his charges for the win.

“It was not an easy match for us especially because I am using a many new players so we struggled a bit in the first half leading to that double substitution. But I am very proud with how my boys played and happy with the result. We will be going into the return leg with our heads high,” said Mohapi.

Meanwhile, in another LNIG Top8 quarterfinal played yesterday ,Thabang Rabi’s header handed LCS a 1-0 win over Likhopo.

The return fixtures of the ties are set for 20 February.


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