Home Sport Likhopo, Matlama share derby spoils

Likhopo, Matlama share derby spoils

by Sunday Express
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Teboho Molapo
Likhopo…………..(0) 2
Matlama………… (1) 2

MASERU — When Likhopo’s Nyakhane Nyakhane looped the ball over his own keeper deep into added time, the two-time league champions will have rued their time-wasting tactics in yesterday’s high-profile Premiership tie.
Known for its pulsating nature, this Likhopo-Matlama tie didn’t disappoint as both sides went all-systems-out for maximum points.
In the end they got one each, but the sizeable crowd inside the Central Prison got its money’s worth.
Mainly because of the cool conditions, the game was played at a frenetic pace throughout the 90 minutes.  True to form, Matlama had taken the lead 15 minutes into the match after a swift counter-attack, which saw Litšepe Marabe running the length of the field before slipping the ball into the path of Thapelo Mokhehle, who calmly made it 1-0.
Matlama were the better side in the first 20 minutes, with Lehlohonolo Mokhele and his midfield friends shading the midfield battle.
In the meantime, Likhopo’s Shalane Lehohla was sent-off for his remonstrations on the bench.
But Likhopo are made of stern stuff and had come into the game unbeaten in three matches.
They also came into the match with an unbeaten league record over Matlama that stretched back three years, and as the rain began to spit, Likhopo began to turn the screws.
In the 28th minute, Selborne Lekhooa should have equalised when he put a free-header wide of the posts. Then three minutes later, Makhabane Kotope flashed a rasping shot just wide, with Matlama keeper Liteboho Mokhesi beaten.
But after all the knocking, Matlama finally let Likhopo in when Mokhesi spilt an easy shot, allowing Mokone Marabe to sweep into the open net.
The shock of the goal was clear to see.
Matlama were making mistakes and looking like someone had spiked their halftime drinks.
Then 15 minutes into the second half, Nkau Lerotholi — who otherwise had a splendid game — missed the ball and once again, the luck was on Marabe, who finished well into the corner to make it 2-1.
In a game of twists and turns, Likhopo defender Rethabile Nkoe was sent-off for a second bookable offence.
What followed was rearguard action of epic proportions, as Likhopo hung-on for dear life — just hoofing the ball forward and of-course, wasting time.
But three minutes into added time, Nyakhane deflected Dlomo Monapathi’s cross-shot over Makhooane to send Matlama fans crazy.
Meanwhile, in the other Premiership match, LCS beat Majantja 3-1 in Mohale’s Hoek.

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