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Likhopo, Liphakoe draw

Leemisa Thuseho

FC LIKHOPO moved one step down in the log table after drawing one-all with Liphakoe in a lackluster affair at LCS Ground yesterday.

The draw saw Halemakale Mahlaha’s side slide down to 10th while Liphakoe remained in 11th.

The dreary affair started in a slow pace with no action near both goal areas in the first 20 minutes.

Liphakoe only made their first attempt on 28 minutes through Ntema Mocoane from outside the box. However, his weak shot was easily dealt with by Fusi Ranone.

Liphakoe dominated the first half but lacked decisiveness in the final third.

Mocoane could have put Liphakoe ahead five minutes before the break but he failed to link up with Rethabile Letseka’s cross from left.

Likhopo’s only first half attempt saw Morena Mohlominyane shoot over the bar from distance in the 44th minute.

Likhopo introduced Mothae Mxolisi for Tšobotsi Morobe on 51 minutes before Mahlaha called in Lebohang Pitso for Refiloe Mokokoane two minutes later.

Liphakoe responded by introducing Neo Sk’hosana for Thaane Mokoena.

In the 60th minute Liphakoe produced their first threat after a neat exchange between Thabiso Mari and Mohlominyane but Mari missed the chance.

Liphakoe came close in the 75th minute but Ranone saved the effort.

Five minutes before time, Liphakoe refreshed its strike force introducing Moeketsi Sephiri for Mocoane and he went on to miss two late chances.

On return from injury, Basia Letuka made some positive impact for Liphakoe and coach Teele Ntšonyana praised him for his work.

“He played very well but there is still room for improvement,” Ntšonyana said adding: “He is not yet fit but we had to use him just so that we could have more options”.

An emotional Ntšonyana said his side deserved to win but the players failed to stick to their game-plan.

“We deserved to win the game; we came intending to win but I don’t know what led to my players’ frustration when they were supposed to play as we had planned.

“I am emotional because I do not see how will we win games if they continue failing to stick to the plan.

“The draw feels more like a loss because we could have won the game but we are struggling to covert.”

For his part, Mahlaha said he was unhappy with the draw because it failed to change their position significantly.

Likhopo were out of action last weekend and Mahlaha believes the break negatively affected his side.

“I am using young players and once they take a break from action, they lose their rhythm and take long before regaining their form.

“We played badly in the first half but improved in the second half. The lack of experience is also a major challenge for our team,” Mahlaha said.

In other games yesterday, defending league champions Matlama were held to 1-1 draw by relegation threatened Lijabatho in Morija while Linare went down 0-1 to Lioli in Maputsoe.

LMPS beat Sefotha-fotha 0-1 at Ratjomose Ground.


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