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Maduma, Liphakoe make it to semis

Mikia Kalati

MASERU — Maduma and Liphakoe beat Rovers and Mphatlalatsane yesterday to book their place in the semi-finals of the A Division Top 8 tournament in matches played at Bambatha Tšita Arena.
Botha-Bothe based side, Maduma, were the first to secure a place in the semi-finals after knocking out the tournament’s defending champions, Rovers, with a 1-0 win in the first of the two quarter-final matches played yesterday.
Liphakoe on the other hand beat Mphatlalatsane 6-5 on penalties after the match had ended goalless during the 90 minutes of play.
Sidwell Mothea’s side grabbed the lead early in the second half through Moeketsi Mofokeng in a match that produced a few goal-scoring chances.
The university team also had a few chances to get the equaliser but were very poor in the final third of the pitch.
The second match of the day between newly promoted St Monica’s side, Mphatlalatsane, and Liphakoe was more entertaining as both teams played attacking football.
Mphatlatsane were the first to draw first blood as striker, Letele Mashale, caught the Liphakoe defence offguard for the opening goal inside the first two minutes.
That goal seemed to have given Mphatlalatsane confidence as they went on to dominate their opponents.
Liphakoe were however able to recover from conceding in the early stages of the game and it came as a no surprise when they got the equalising goal.
Forgotten former youth international, Tsebang Lebata, showed his goal scoring abilities when he rose high to draw his team level from a well taken corner kick.
Both teams were presented with good goal-scoring chances in the second half of the match, but it was a game of missed chances.
The match ended goalless and had to be decided on penalties where Lebata scored the last penalty in the sudden death to send his team to the semi-finals.
Former Lerotholi goalkeeper, Tumelo Ntšoane, who also had a few calls in the national team in the past, was the hero for Liphakoe saving a number of penalties to help his team register a win over Mphatlatsane who have been promoted to the premier league.
Mphatlalatsane coach, Tšepo Hlojeng, said they are disappointed to have been knocked out in the early stages but said the tournament is a good dress rehearsal for his team as they return to top flight football next season.
“This was a good stage for us the technical team to see where our team needs to be reinforced ahead of our return to the premier league,” Hlojeng said.
“It will also help the players to see their weaknesses and prepare for the bigger stage of the premier league.”

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