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Linare edge Highlanders

linareMoorosi Tsiane

MASERU — Linare registered their fourth victory of the season after beating Qoaling Highlanders 1-0 in a premier league match played at Pitso Ground yesterday to remain in fifth position on the league table. The Hlotse-based team headed to yesterday’s encounter against Highlanders in high spirits following their last weekend’s 3-1 win over Mphatlalatsane.

Tse Tala, as Linare are affectionately known, went into the lead in the first stanza of the match as Lebajoa Mosehlanyane’s well-curled free kick beat Highlanders goalkeeper, Makhetha Thakeli, for the opening goal of the match. Linare duo of Mabuti Potloane and Tumelo Ngatane were very impressive in midfield and gave the Hlotse-based team an edge over their opponents.

The match headed to the half time break with Linare enjoying a 1-0 lead. The introduction of Letsoko Leboela worked wonders for Linare as they started where they left off in the second half, once again enjoying better ball possession over Highlanders. Linare could have grabbed a second goal in the 67th minute, but Highlanders goalkeeper, Thakeli, stood tall to keep his team in the game.

Talented winger, Mosehlanyane, proved a thorn for Highlanders every time his team was attacking and could have also registered a goal, but his poor finishing in front of goals let him down. Highlanders suffered a huge blow late in the second half as ageing striker, Paballo Mpakanyane, had to be pulled off due to an injury.

Things went from bad to worse for Highlanders with left back, Teboho Matlaloe, being shown a red card for a bad tackle on Mosehlenyane as the match approached the last 15 minutes. Highlanders nearly equalised in the dying minutes of the game with Linare goal minder, Phoka Matete, pulling a great save to deny the host an equalising goal. Linare assistant coach, Sejoale-joale Molefe, told this paper in a post match interview that they were very happy to have taken three points against Highlanders.

“It was not our best performance, but we managed to score a single goal that helped us win the match,” Molefe said. “We created a few goal scoring chances and could not finish them off.  It is a concern that needs to be addressed as soon as possible”. He said they will try and correct the goal scoring problem in training.

Qoaling Highlanders coach, Wright Mofoka, was a disappointed man though he was consoled by the fighting spirit shown by his team. “We were not that bad and we were unlucky to have conceded a goal in the first half,” Mofoka said. “I feel we deserved something from this match,” he said. He said an injury to veteran striker, Mpakanyane, also hampered their chances of coming back.

“It was a big blow to lose a striker of his qualities through an injury, especially during the crucial minutes of the game,” said Mofoka. He said they will go back to the drawing board to regroup and focus on their upcoming matches.

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