Matlama edge LCS in five-goal thriller
MATLAMA continued their fine run when they beat a stubborn LCS 3-2 in an Econet Premier League thriller at LCS Ground yesterday.
Phafa Tšosane, Lebajoa Mosehlenyane and Motebang Sera scored for Matlama while LCS goals came from Thapelo Tale and an own goal from Michael Mireku.
Tšosane’s goal came just two minutes into the match when the midfield maestro beat defenders just outside the penalty area and caught the LCS goalkeeper, Sam Ketsekile, off guard.
Matlama’s intentions became clear on 10 minutes with Mosehlenyane extending their lead.
The speedy winger received the ball unmarked as LCS’s offside trap backfired.
LCS did not sit back and they came close to finding the back of the net 20 minutes into the match.
Makara Ntaitsana forced Matlama goalkeeper, Monaheng Ramalefane, to produce a wonder save to keep his side in the match.
The tempo increased as both teams played through the centre of the park and it became the battle of LCS’ midfield duo of Mosiuoa Boseeka and Sepirit Malefane against Matlama’s Teboho Lillane and Phafa Tšosane.
The match went to the break with Matlama still leading.
LCS made their first substitute immediately in the second stanza with the attacking duo of Hopolang Mohalefi and Tale coming in for Thabang Malane and Thetso Phoshuli.
Masheshena, as LCS is affectionately known, then changed their style now directing play to both Tale and Mohlalefi on the flanks.
The tactical change nearly worked for them as Ramalefane was once gain tested by Ntaitsane who forced the goal-minder to produce another fantastic save on the 48th minute.
The correctional service side continued to pile pressure and attacker, Lieta Lehloka, was also denied by Ramalefane on the 52nd minute as his curled cross down the right side was saved for a corner.
Matlama made their first substitute 10 minutes after the break introducing Sera and Katleho Moleko for Mabuti Potloane and Nzenze Nkulu.
Sera extended the lead for Matlama three minutes after his introduction as he headed home Nketsi Rankhasa’s cross unmarked inside six yards to send the supporters into frenzy.
Matlama’s central defender Patrick Nyarko had to be substituted with an injury and Mireku came on his place.
Desperate for results LCS made a tactical substitute with a winger Lehlohonolo Lenka coming in for a defender Kutloisiso Nthonyana on 63 minutes.
LCS moved into a more attacking formation remaining with a back three.
It did not take them too long to score as second half substitute, Tale, headed home inside in the six-yard box on 64 minutes.
LCS continued to attack from the flanks and the formation again paid off as they benefited from a defensive mishap when Mireku cleared Lenka’s cross from the right into his own net.
Matlama continued to defend deep and allowed LCS to press but however, Mpitsa Marai’s side failed to find an equalizer.
Marai blamed the match officials for the loss.
“It was a tough match in general but there are things that are really saddening with our football and it is very unfortunate that we know there will be no decisions taken to these people,” Marai said.
“The first goal was legitimate, the second one I will not say much about it, we all saw what happened. We will take the loss and go prepare our charges going into our next match.”
Matlama coach, Mosito Matela, said he was happy with his side’s performance.
“We played very well especially in the first stanza and that was where we wrapped up the game. The second half, yes, they came back a better side and managed to score those two goals.
“We are happy for with the win but again we need to continue working hard and ensure that we don’t concede easily,” Matela said.
In the first match played at LCS, Sefotha-Fotha drew 2-2 with Majantja.
Elsewhere, Bantu were too hot to handle for Sky Battalion as they handed them a 4-0 whipping at PTC Ground.