Matlama slip again
MATLAMA chances of successfully defending the Econet Premier League this season thinned again yesterday after they were held to a one-all draw by league tenderfoots, Lifofane, at LCS Ground yesterday afternoon.
The draw left Matlama stuck in second and the side’s problems could still worsen if leaders Bantu win against LDF at Setsoto Stadium this afternoon. If Bantu win today, then they will be 14 points ahead of Matlama.
Yesterday, Matlama were quickly off the mark with Jane Thabantšo linking up well with Mohai Mohai’s cross from the right.
Four minutes later Matlama could have doubled their lead but Lifofane keeper, Mafa Tankiso, saved Khoanyane Mokoena header’s.
Lifofane grew into the game and Mofokeng’s on 14 minutes low shot was saved after Boateng Joseph’s neat work.
Matlama piled on pressure on Lifofane and on 17 minutes Tankiso was forced to make another save, parrying over the bar a Teboho Lillane attempt.
On 24 minutes Khoanyane squandered a clear chance after Thabantšo’s exquisite pass.
Lifofane’s fans fumed three minutes before the break after Mofokeng won ball from Mohai and raced into Matlama’s 18 area where he was felled by Lisema Lebokollana and Stephen Essono. However, referee Mathabo Kolokotoane was unmoved inviting the fans vile.
After the restart Lifofane introduced Realeboha Rankhotha for Mofokeng after a shoulder injury.
In the 54th minute Lifofane introduced Molise Kuena for Boateng Joseph.
Lifofane were eventually awarded a penalty in the 57th minute after Matlama’s goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane’s poor tackle on Mofokeng Karabo in the area.
Rankhotha stepped up and converted sending the keeper the wrong way.
Lifofane made their last change on the 63rd minute bringing in Halifele Mokoqola for Oscar Amponsah.
Matlama also tried to change the game brining in Mabuti Potloane and Phafa Tsosane for Teboho Lillane and Thato Rantšo in the 76th minute before withdrawing Mokoena for Thapelo Tale four minutes later.
Tale forced Takiso into another serve on 86 minutes.
Matlama breathed a sigh of relief on 86 minutes after Halifele missed his side’s last chance of the day.
Matlama coach Charles Manda said the loss would make life difficult for his side but said they would fight to the dearth.
“We are not happy with the result because we were the better side in the first half and we missed a lot of scoring opportunities,” Manda said.
“However, we will not give up despite dropping crucial points. This has put us in an awkward situation.”
Matlama started with Potloane, Tšosane and Tale starting on the bench while Rethabile Mokokoane watched from the stands unlike the Bantu game last weekend.
Manda said the changes were necessitated by the need to rest some players while giving others a chance.
Lifofane coach Thomas Chabalala said they played well but missed several chances but he believes his players used a lot of energy in the first round of the league.
“We are new in the league and I think we used a lot of energy in the first round. We started our previous games poorly and I think anxiety stage fright worked against my players.
“This is was our game, we even lost a clear chance in last minutes of the game,” Chabalala said.z
In other games yesterday, LMPS drew one-all with Linare at Ratjomose Ground. Lioli beat Likhopo 1-0 in Teya-teyaneng.
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