LMPS dent Bantu title hopes
GOALS from Nkau Lerotholi and Monyatheli Ntobo handed LMPS a 2-1 victory over Bantu at Setsoto Stadium to dent the reigning champions’ hopes of defending their Econet Premier League title.
Lerotholi put the police side ahead on the 13th minute having risen high inside the penalty box to head-in a well taken corner-kick by Tanki Polokoane to give Simunye the lead.
LMPS gave Bantu a tough time on set pieces but A Matšo Matebele managed to find their way back into the game on the 32nd minute through Lehlohonolo Fothoane, who also founded the back of the net with the header.
The police outfit looked to have regained their lead through a well taken corner-kick by Polokoane as the match approached the half-time but the goal was controversially disallowed by referee Mohlauli Pitsa, as he felt that Bantu goalkeeper, Thabiso Lichaba was fouled.
However, against the run of play, LMPS regained their lead again through Monyatheli Ntobo on the 38th minute. Ntobo the Bantu defenders a torrid time the whole match.
The Bantu technical team reacted by making an early substitution and surprisingly took off star winger Litšepe Marabe, who was replaced by Hlompho Kalake.
Kalake started the match on the bench after he was recently involved in Likuena’s long trip to and from Cape Verde.
In the second half, Bantu had several opportunities to find their way back into the game but lacked composure in the final third as Fothoane missed a good opportunity to grab a brace from close range.
LMPS also had several chances to bury the game but were wasteful in attack with Monyatheli the main culprit.
Tensions were also high and Tanki Makhele was lucky to escape expulsion on the 75th minute after head-butting Bantu defender Tsietsi Khooa.
His teammate Polokoane was not so lucky in the dying minutes of the game as he was shown a red card for throwing the ball in the face of an opponent on the touchline.
Simunye coach Teele Ntšonyana told this publication that he was excited about the win over the defending champions.
However, the former Likuena striker indicated that he will not tolerate the indiscipline that saw his team finish the match with 10 men.
“We have been doing a lot of work on tactics and it worked very well for us,” Ntšonyana said.
“We even changed during the course of the game applying a different system.
“Beating Bantu is a big achievement but I will not tolerate the ill-discipline shown by my team today and that is why I did not shake the hand of my player after he was dismissed.
“I don’t like what he did and as law officer, he should be extremely disciplined.”
Meanwhile, Bantu coach James Madidilane admitted that his side did not come to the party and struggled to deal with set pieces against the police side.
“We struggled to deal with LMPS on set-pieces and had a slow start which worked against us.
“We never recovered and were not at our best but it’s part of the game as much as we have lost the points.
“We have to leave it behind us and focus on the future.
“LMPS were the better team today and their goalkeeper was also having a good day playing long balls behind our defenders, which we struggled to deal with,” Madidilane said.
Elsewhere, Lioli woes continued as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to LDF in the early match at Setsoto Stadium.
At LCS Ground, Liphakoe were ruthless against relegation threatened Majantja beating them 4-0 while LCS and Kick4Life drew 1-1 in the second match.
Econet Premier League results
LDF 2-1 Lioli
Liphakoe 4-0 Majantja
LCS 1-1 Kick4Life
LMPS 2-1 Bantu