. . . as Bantu thrash Celtics to maintain pole position
Linare came from a goal down to hold Matlama to a one-all stalemate in a Premier League tie played at LCS Ground on Friday.
Winger Jane Thabantšo found the opener for Matlama in the 14th minute, before Linare striker Tšiu Moorosi levelled matters on the hour.
Tse Putsoa, as Matlama are affectionately known, started the match like a house on fire, pressing Linare in every department and creating a lot of goal-scoring chances.
Strikers Mpho Matsinyane and Thabantšo could have seen Matlama leading 2-0 inside 10 minutes, but poor finishing ensured the visitors stayed in the game. However, the Sea Point-based outfit were duly rewarded in the 14th minute when Thabantšo capitalised on the Linare goalkeeper’s indecisive parry.
Matlama were particularly impressive in the middle of the park in the first half, with Pali Tšalong and Kefuoe Mahula in fine fettle.
The visiting side, on the other hand, were poor in the same department and could hardly complete three uninterrupted passes inside the first 45 minutes of the tie.
Thabantšo failed to extend his side’s lead four minutes before the halftime break when he shot over the bar, a teasing cross from Lisema Lebokollane.
But whatever Linare coach Freese Ntene told his players during the halftime break seemed to work as the Hlotse-based side came back the better of the two teams, and dictated matters for the better part of the second half.
Dribbling wizard Lebajoa Mosehlenyane was especially portent for Linare each time he got the ball in the second half, and capped a dazzling display with a cross that was turned in by Moorosi in the 60th minute.
From then on, it was anybody’s game, but the match eventually ended 1-1, which was probably a fair result considering the even contest.
In a post-match interview, Matlama coach, Mofihli Makoele, said his side played well in the first stanza but failed to do the same in the second half, which Linare took advantage of.
“We started well but the players failed to rise to the occasion in the last half so Linare capitalised on this to find the equaliser,” Makoele said.
Ntene, on the other hand, said he was disappointed with how his team played.
“I am not happy with how we played; the players’ attitude was not impressive at all and they were not good tactically and lacked confidence,” Ntene said.
Meanwhile, in other Premier League matches played on Friday, Melele beat Mphatlalatsane 1-0 to register their second win of the season, while Lioli came out 1-2 victorious against LDF, thereby leapfrogging Linare into second position on the 14-team table.
Bantu cemented their place at the top of the log by thrashing Mpharane Celtics 8-1 at the Leshoboro Stadium.