ECONET Premier League new boys Lijabatho collected their third point of the season holding LCS to a goalless draw at LCS Ground yesterday.
The Motolo Makape coached side has been struggling for results ever since it made its debut in the top flight league this season. The side also went into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw with LDF last weekend.
Apart from the three draws, Lijabatho has also lost to Sefotha-fotha and fellow newcomers Lifofane.
Yesterday’s match started on a high tempo with Masheshena pushing for an early goal and twice came close through Khethisa Masenyetse’s headers unmarked in the box. Masenyetse however, failed to hit the target.
Lijabatho looked strong on the ball and enjoyed possession but failed to penetrate a well marshalled Poloko Mohale and Lehlohonolo Moabi central defence pair.
LCS, on the other hand, played on the wings and looked threatening in aerial attacks as Lijabatho defenders failed to deal with their height.
Two minutes before the break Lijabatho goalkeeper Rethabile Mokoenya denied LCS another chance to take the lead saving Mosiuoa Boseeka’s header from a Thabang Malane cross from the right flank.
Mokoenya was forced to produce another fantastic save on the half time mark from a well-played set piece by Boseeka who rolled the ball for Setho Moshoeshoe a few metres outside the penalty area.
Mahala, as Lijabatho are famously known made their first substitute 20 minutes into the second half pulling out Napo Makhomo for Philip Obrien.
LCS however, lost the possession it enjoyed in the first half with Sepiriti Malefane and Setho Moshoeshoe dictating the pace in the centre of the park. Their efforts were nevertheless, harmless in the attacking third as Keketso Snyders made countless poor decisions.
LCS made their first change on 75 minutes with Lehlohonolo Lenka making way for Thetso Posholi.
Four minutes later, Lijabatho made their second change introducing Mocobo Thatjane for Retšelisitsoe Mopeli and LCS made their second change with Motiki Mohale coming in for Refiloe Mothae.
The visitors made their third introducing Thabiso Malakane for Rasetabele Kalosane three minutes before time.
LCS coach Mpitsa Marai was unhappy with his side’s performance.
“Our problems are the same in every match, which is in the last third,” Marai said.
“We created many chances but kept on missing them. We have few attackers and some of our players like Leboneng Moqecho and Makara Ntaitsane are nursing injuries.”
He also expressed worry that dropping points would give them pressure as the season progresses.
“Of course, we will end up under pressure if we continue on this trajectory of doing everything else right but failing in the last third. Booth (Snyders) is still new in the team and he is still adapting to our style, so he is struggling but we will be patient with him,” he said.
Makepe, on the other hand, was happy with the results.
“I am happy with the results. We played against a big team and fared well as compared to when we played team that we could match in terms of playing personnel and failed to beat them.
“Today we had to be disciplined and I am happy we played exactly how we prepared. The boys showed character and commitment today and that is important for me as a coach because basics and tactics are easy to teach the team when it is committed.
“We are not yet where we want to be but we are learning with each game and I am happy,” Makepe said.
In a first match at the same venue, Kick4Life also drew 1-1 with Likhopo.
Elsewhere, Lifofane edged LDF 0-1 at Ratjomose Ground while Liphakoe and Sefotha-fotha also played out a goalless draw.
Swallows were beaten 0-2 by Linare at PTC Ground.