Goals from Lehlomela Ramabele and Tefo Maipato handed Likhopo a 2-1 win over LDF in an entertaining Vodacom Premier League match played at LCS Ground yesterday.
LDF started the match the better of the two teams with Likhopo keeper Teboho Ratibisi the busier of the goalies.
Likhopo defender Nyakhane Nyakhane also twice cleared the ball from the goal-line to keep his side in the game as LDF looked for an early breakthrough.
However, the goal finally came in the 35th minute when experienced striker, Mojela Letsie, capitalised on poor defending to put his side ahead.
The Red Army managed to fight back, but could not break the army side as the match headed to the halftime break with LDF enjoying a 1-0 lead.
The second half started on a high tempo and it did not take long for Likhopo to get back into the game as Lehlomela Ramabele struck his ninth goal of the season.
The premier league’s top scorer showed his goal-poaching instinct as he capitalized on poor defending by LDF to get his team back into the match.
Both teams then continued to create goal-scoring chances with Letsie and Paul Moloi very dangerous for LDF in attack.
The duo, however could not nose LDF ahead, forcing Sohle-Sohle coach, Motheo Mohapi to bring in experienced players Matli Matli and Janefeke Molibeli.
However, Matli, who was brought in to stabilize the midfield, was unlucky to handle the ball inside the penalty box and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot.
Tefo Maipato stepped-up to beat LDF goalkeeper, Likano Mphuthi and put Likhopo ahead for the first time in the match.
The Shalane Lehohla-coached side held on to their lead to collect the much-needed maximum points.
Speaking with the Sunday Express in a post-match interview, LDF coach, Motheo Mohapi, said his charges got excited after taking the lead and forgot there was still a long way to go.
“I think we played very well in the first half and took an early lead, but my players got excited, forgetting that there was still the second half to play,” Mohapi said.
“We also made silly mistakes and were punished for it.”
Likhopo coach, Lehohla, on the other hand, said he was excited with the three points.
“Look, any coach will welcome the three points, whether his team played well or badly and for that we are delighted to win this match,” Lehohla said.
“I think for us the halftime team-talk was crucial in coming back into the game in the second half.
“We played to our strength because we have a lot of ball-players. It is encouraging to open the second round of the season with a win.
Meanwhile, in other matches played yesterday, Liphakoe beat Mphatlalatsane 5-2 in St Monica’s to boost their chances of survival while Leslie Notši’s Kick4Life beat Rovers 2-0 at Old Europa.