Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Matlama edge LDF in thriller

 

Moorosi Tsiane

Matlama beat LDF 3-2 at Setsoto Stadium yesterday to stay in the race for the Vodacom Premier League title.

Mabuti Potloane scored his second goal in two successive matches, with Jane Thabantso and Hopolang Mohlalefi also on target for Matlama while LDF goals came from Koporale Motanyane and Thabo Mphethe.

After the win, Tse Putsoa leapfrogged LCS into second spot with 37 points and now trail log-leaders Lioli by three points. Third-placed LCS, who are on 35 points, face Likila United this afternoon in Butha-Buthe with a win taking them back into second place.

Yesterday’s clash between Matlama and LDF was the third meeting between the two giants in one month after LDF won the first leg of the LNIG Top8 quarterfinal 1-0 at LCS Ground. The return leg of the competition ended 1-1 and yesterday’s fixture was an equally cagey affair.

The match started at a very low pace on a scorching afternoon with both sides cautious in their approach.

However, Matlama broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute when Potloane headed home after a free-kick by Thabo Lepolesa.

Soon after the halftime break, Sohle-Sohle made a double substitution of Tšeliso Phera and Koete Mohloai for Lepheana Mofolo and Tankiso Tometsi.

The move paid dividends as the army side started to take the game to Matlama and three minutes later, leveled matters through Motanyane’s header.

LDF continued to press Matlama for another goal but couldn’t find a way through the well-marshalled defence of Lepolesa and Tšeliso Ramathe.

To get back into the match, Matlama made a double substitution of Mohlalefi and Tumelo Maine for Tankiso Makhutla and Motebang Sera in the 66th minute.

The substitution worked for Tse Putsoa as they started to attack LDF and in the 70th minute, a well-curled cross from Potloane found Thabantso unmarked, and the attacking midfielder made no mistake and headed the ball into the net to put Matlama back in the lead.

Six minutes later, Mohlalefi cut in from the left wing and laid the ball for Nketsi Rankhasa who was unlucky to see his shot hit the upright. However, Mohlalefi was there to finish the rebound and made it three for Matlama.

LDF found the second goal seven minutes before the final whistle with a well-placed Mphete shot to the far right after Matlama goalkeeper Makhetha Thakeli failed to deal with Tsolo Mokapane’s cross.

In a post-match interview, Matlama coach Moses Maliehe was a happy man with the three points and said they were back in the league chase.

“It was not an easy match, especially because we have played each other three times in a short space of time and we managed to beat them this time around. We came more prepared and managed to score and get the three points which is why I am happy about this match,” Maliehe said.

“The return from injury of our captain Phafa Tšosane and Potloane is a big boost for our team and today’s win will be a morale-booster for us going forward.”

However, LDF coach Motheo Mohapi said he was bitterly disappointed by the match officials.

“My players worked very hard but unfortunately, our match officials influenced the game. It is like there are some teams that don’t have to lose. Look at some of the decisions they were making! That’s a disgrace to our football and it is sad that people have decided to bring politics into football,” Mohapi said.

In other league matches played yesterday, Lioli thumped Mphatlalatsane 6-1 in Maputsoe while Kick4Life played to a goalless draw with Linare at Setsoto.

Comments are closed.