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Matlama run riot

Moorosi Tsiane

MATLAMA started their Econet Premier League championship defence on a high note thumping Swallows 6-0 at Setsoto Stadium yesterday.

Jane Thabantšo and second half substitute Mokoena Khoanyane each scored a brace with Mabuti Potloane and Lisema Lebokollane scoring a goal apiece.

Tse Putsoa made their intentions very clear from the onset throwing everything at helpless Swallows who struggled from the first whistle.

Matlama’s early pressure nearly bore 20 minutes into the match when Swallows goalkeeper Tiisetso Makhasane fouled Phafa Tšosane in the penalty area and the referee of the day Retšelisitsoe Molise pointed to the spot.

However, Matlama failed to break the deadlock when Lehlomela Ramabela’s poorly taken penalty was saved.

Matlama’s first goal came six minutes later through a well headed Thabantšo effort from a Tšosane cross.

Swallows continued to struggle losing possession easily in the midfield and giving Matlama too much room to attack.

It didn’t take Matlama long to find their second goal, another header, this time from Lebokollane. This was from a spectacular set piece by Tšosane.

Swallows looked more frustrated every minute of the match and they failed to absorb Matlama’s pressure.

Tšosane once again with another assist pin-pointed Potloane from a corner kick and the latter easily headed home unmarked in the six-yard box six minutes before the half time.

The Sea-point outfit continued from where it left off after the break and four minutes into the second half, Swallows had the upright to thank for denying Ramabele.

Swallows were the first to make the changes with Lehlohonolo Mota making way for Tšeliso Ramafikeng while Mokitlane Lehlohonolo was taken off for Tebello Leshoella.

A few minutes later, Matlama also made their first change with Ramabele making way for Khoanyane.

Matlama got their fourth goal on the hour mark with Thabantso capitalising on the miscommunication between Makhasane and his defender Sekhonyana Makhobalo.

Three minutes later Khoanyane his first after some erratic defending by Swallows.

Matlama’s second change saw Theletsane Makume making way for Rethabile Moroeroe while Swallows made their last change pulling out Lehlohonolo Mothetsi for Khaketla Matamane.

Khoanyane scored his second on 75 minutes to wrap up a 6-0 drubbing of Swallows tapping in a John Mohai cross from the right.

Matlama’s last change saw Teboho Lillane coming in for Potloane towards the dying minutes of the match.

Swallows coach Motebang Makhetha was disappointed with the results but said they would go back to drawing board and rectify their mistakes.

“Football is a process and you start from the training session and unfortunately we failed to implement some of our strategies,” Makhetha said.

“We failed to defend crosses and, in the process, conceded three goals in similar fashion. However, we will go back to the drawing board and prepare for the next match. I am disappointed and I would like to apologise to the Swallows fans for this poor showing.”

Matlama coach Charles Manda was a happy man saying they would have something to build on in forthcoming games.

“It was good game and I am happy with how we played especially because we didn’t really have a good pre-season due to our involvement in the CAF Champions League. But today the boys rose to the occasion.

“Something good is coming out of this team, we just need to keep working hard and take each game as it comes. We have stamped our authority as the defending champions,” Manda said.

The Malawian said it was however, too early to be talking about winning the league.

“We just need to take one game at a time because the league is a marathon and it is still too early. We just need to focus on winning our matches because we know the next one is going to be tougher,” he said.

In the first match at the same venue, Bantu registered a 2-0 win over Sefotha-fotha courtesy of Hlompho Kalake and Lazola Tjokotjokwana’s goals.

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