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Matlama extend winning streak

by Sunday Express
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Leemisa Thuseho

LEAGUE defending champions, Matlama have extended their winning streak after beating rivals, Lioli 1-0 at Setsoto Stadium yesterday.

A late goal from Rethabile Mokokoane in the dying minutes of the match was enough to keep Matlama on pole position with nine points. This was their third consecutive win.

The Molebatsi Mothobi-coached side showed its determination to collect the maximum three points right from the onset.

Besides bagging the three points, Mothobi said they were out to revenge their 4-2 defeat by Lioli last month in the Alliance Winter Challenge final in Maputsoe. The game was decided on penalties after the two teams drew 2-2 in regulation time.

‘’I am very happy that we beat them after they defeated us in the Alliance Cup final,’’ Mothobi said.

“Lioli is a big team and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy to collect three points against them today. They have a very good technical team.

“It clearly showed that they had prepared well for the match. That is why it wasn’t easy for us to score against them as early as we had wanted. We were patient and it worked,” he said.

Matlama were boosted by the availability of their three key players, Jane Thabantšo, Lisema Lebokollane and Phafa Tšosane, who missed their two previous matches due to work commitments.

Mothobi said he was happy that they were back in the team.

On his part, Lioli coach, Bob Mafoso, said he was disappointed that they conceded a goal five minutes away from the final whistle.

“I am disappointed that we conceded from a set-piece after failing to defend a corner kick. This happened when I thought we were heading for a draw.

“We failed to defend well and paid dearly for that. We also failed to contain their attack.

“Matlama’s experience in international matches also worked well for them,” Mafoso said.

Matlama got their title defence to a good start after beating Linare 1-0 in their first game in Maputsoe last Sunday.

They went on to edge league newbies, Machokha 2-1 on Wednesday at LCS.

Yesterday’s result saw Lioli being handed their first defeat of the season. They beat Swallows 1-0 three weeks ago before drawing 0-0 with LDF last Saturday.

In other matches yesterday, Bantu beat CCX 3-0 while LMPS were held to a goalless draw by Liphakoe.

Linare edged Galaxy 0-1, while Machokha also won 0-1 over Manonyane and LCS beat Lijabatho by a similar score line.

The newly-promoted Naughty Boys were handed a 0-3 defeat by LDF. Lifofane drew 0-0 with Swallows.

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