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Likila defy the odds


Moorosi Tsiane

It has been a great season of football so far, although we are only eight matches into the 2014/15 campaign.

With LDF, Lioli, Bantu and LCS in top form, it is also worth noting the new kids on the block,  Likila United, who have also been outstanding.

Likila won the A Division Northern Stream as Qalo last season, thereby gaining promotion into the topflight league.

I watched them play several times last season, but was far from impressed with their display, and when they eventually won the league title, I thought they would be the whipping boys of the Premier League and plunge back into the first division.

But it looks like I got it all wrong as the Lepenya Borotho-coached side have been matching their opponents and playing possessional football that has been very pleasing to the eye.

The fact that Likila are currently fourth on the 14-team Premier League table with 16 points after four wins, four draws and two losses is enough proof that this is a team with so much promise and determined to stay in the topflight league.

A 2-0 win against Likhopo, 1-0 versus Linare, 1-0 over LCS and 3-0 against Qoaling Highlanders attest to the strength of this Butha-Buthe outfit. Likila’s draws were also against some of the big names of domestic football (1-1 versus Bantu, 1-1 versus LMPS, 2-2 against Nyenye Rovers, and 0-0 against Sundawana), while their defeats were against Lioli (0-2) and fellow Premier League newcomers Kick4Life (0-1).

Looking back over the past four years, one realises that teams that are promoted to the Premier League almost always get relegated the following season or after two terms, but going by Likila’s form so far, I don’t see this happening at all.

What is also exciting about Likila is that they have a young squad that is going to be around for a long time and which can only get better with more time in the Premiership.

I believe what has made this side such a force is hard work and unity of purpose and never allowing themselves to be overwhelmed by the Premiership.

Tšeliso Chenene and Sello Koetle have been very lethal upfront and are banging the goals in, while Tšepiso Malefane, Motsoakela Ramasimong, Lechaena Tjemo and Tumelo Koabala have also been solid in defence.

As we speak, Koetle is the second-highest scorer in the Premiership with five goals behind Bantu midfielder Litšepe Marabe, who has found the net six times, while Chenene has four.

I really see Likila as the surprise package of the Premier League because not many, myself included like I have already said, gave them much chance of making an impression in the dog-eat-dog world of the Premier League.

To be honest, I truly believed fellow rookies Kick4Life were going to be the ones causing havoc due to their adequate resources and very good coach in Motlalepula Majoro.

But it has not been the case as they also seem to be struggling at the moment after registering  three wins, three draws and four losses. They are on seventh spot on the table as we speak.

Kick4Life did not start the season very well but have gained momentum of late, with the striking duo of Thabiso Brown and Morapeli Lesoetsa, the driving force behind the team.

Brown netted a hat-trick last weekend as Kick4Life handed Nyenye Rovers a 4-0 drubbing at Setsoto Stadium.

If what is happening at the moment is anything to go, I foresee a situation where the rookies are going to survive the chop, while some so-called established teams are relegated.

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