Likhopo beat Sundawana 3-1 in a Vodacom Premier League match played at LCS ground yesterday to end the first round of the season on a high note.
Makara Ntaitsana, Thapelo Tale and Thuso Shuping were on target for the Red Army, while Sundawana’s consolation goal came from Bakary Coulibaly.
Likhopo started the match at a cracking pace, as they piled pressure on the hapless visitors.
However, the opening goal came on the half-hour mark with a well-taken set-piece by Tale about 10 metres from the penalty area.
Likhopo’s rhythm appeared to be broken when midfielder Tefo Maipato had to be substituted for Nyeoe Rakhoboso in the 23rd minute due to injury.
Ntaitsana added his name on the score-sheet with a cracker after capitalising on Sundawana’s defensive blunder two minutes before the half-time break, to ensure Likhopo went to the breather leading 2-0.
The Butha-Buthe outfit came back the better side after the break, as they threw everything into the match in search of goals.
Sundawana stalwart, Tumelo Khutlang, was doing much of the damage to his former team, with winger Themba Mzamane also not allowing Likhopo defenders any rest.
The visitors sent in Emanuel Amakwah and Coulibaly for Johanes Molapo and Koloti Raboama in the 46th and 53rd minute respectively, before defender, Khoahla Machefu came in for the injured Ngoako Ngoako in the 71st minute.
Likhopo also substituted striker Lehlomela Ramabele for Moesa Moeletsi in the 79th minute.
Sundawana’s goal was finally tapped-in by Coulibaly after Likhopo goalkeeper, Fusi Ramonene, had failed to clear the ball in the 56th minute.
But Shuping wrapped-up Likhopo’s win in the 90th minute with a well-placed shot from Tale’s layoff.
After the match, Likhopo assistant coach, Tšeliso Mofolo said the win was a welcome relief as the team went to the Christmas break.
“We needed this win; our start to the season was not good at all so we had to collect maximum points here so that we do not start the second round under a lot of pressure,” Mofolo said.
“Tale made this team tick today and I am very grateful for this result.”
On his part Sundawana general manager, Mapena Tloaelo said his side played well but was let down by poor finishing.
“The boys played well, but we are not clinical upfront. I will be hoping to boost our squad during the January transfer window,” Tloaelo said.
In other Premier League matches played yesterday, LCS beat Mphatlalatsane 1-0 at LCS Ground; Lioli added to Linare’s woes with a 1-0 victory in Hlotse; LDF narrowly beat LMPS 2-1 and Matlama came out 2-1 victorious against Likila United in Butha-Buthe.
Yesterday’s matches were the last for the first half of the season, and Lioli lead the 14-team table.