MASERU — Taking advantage of your momentum and chances was the lesson yesterday as LDF beat Lerotholi 2-0 to maintain their lead at the top of the Vodacom Premier League.
It was Sohle-Sohle’s third win on the bounce, lifting them to 10 points, while Lerotholi have failed to build on their impressive win over Matlama on the first day of the season, losing all their subsequent three games.
But judging by the first 30 minutes Lihale looked on course for at least a point.
In a game of two halves it was Lerotholi who had the better of the opening stanza.
With midfield general Teboho ‘Mota controlling the game Lihale sprayed the ball around Ratjomose’s bumpy pitch, delighting their handful of supporters.
The visitors’ composure on the ball, from gifted left-back David Lebakeng to nippy winger Khopotso Lenoesa, bamboozled the sometimes robotic soldiers.
Indeed at this point LDF looked as though they were suffering from an Independence Cup hangover and they should have gone behind in the 27th minute when Tšele Molongoane ballooned over with the goal at his mercy after Sohle-Sohle stopper Sello Ramakau misjudged a cross.
Three minutes later Lenoesa had a shot saved by Ramakau after the winger had left three LDF defenders eating dust.
Such was Lihale’s ascendancy that the soldiers’ first attempt at goal, Lesimolle Tšiu’s weak shot into Tumelo Ntšoane’s arms, came in the 43rd minute.
Unhappy, LDF coach Motheo Mohapi gave his charges a tongue-lashing and brought on Mokoena Moahloli and Janefeke Molibeli to strengthen the flanks.
The changes paid almost immediate dividends.
Six minutes into the second half Sohle-Sohle took the lead after Lerotholi failed to deal with a long ball.
LDF targetman Mojela Letsie flicked the ball on to Paseka Lebata who thumped in his first goal of the season.
“We changed the whole approach, the pattern and some personnel,” a relieved Mohapi said after the game.
“It was similar to the game against Matlama.
“The football they were trying to play (in the first half) where they were in contact with Lerotholi didn’t suit us.
“I wasn’t happy with the movement off the ball and they were not hungry.
“I don’t know if it was fatigue but they were playing like they over-trained.
“In the second half we played better but it is not good that we always have to rely on the last 45 minutes.”
Lebata’s goal was a sucker punch Lerotholi never recovered from.
LDF were now first to all loose balls and busy pumping balls into Linale’s danger zone.
The second goal duly came in the 21st minute when substitute Molibeli, given too much time and space, saw his cross fortuitously loop over Ntšoane and effectively seal the contest.
“We have players that forget (tactics). In the first half they were playing following what we had talked about, (which was) how LDF would beat us,” Lerotholi mentor Naleli Tšilo said afterwards.
“In the second they forgot, and if you allow LDF to get crosses in to the box then they will finish you, that is their game.”
Elsewhere, Independence Cup champions Lioli were shocked 2-1 by Likhopo in Teyateyaneng to end a topsy-turvy week where Tse Nala also failed to make it into the Vodacom Soccer Spectacular.
In Hlotse, Bantu proved their credentials again with a 1-0 win over Joy while LMPS’s poor start to the season went from bad to worse when Simunye were beaten 2-1 at home by Swallows.