MASERU — Swallows threw the Vodacom Premier League title race wide open after shocking champions Lioli 1-0 in Mazenod yesterday.
Maswai-swai’s surprise win, thanks to Mosiuoa Boseka’s stunning 85th minute free-kick, was one of two major stories on the day, the other being the Premier League’s alcohol ban at all topflight matches.
Yesterday was the first match day since the unconvincing law was imposed last week, but maybe predictably, beer bottles and cans were still in full view.
“We tried to control the bringing-in of alcohol in every way,” Swallows president Mabote Masienyane said after the match. “But because our fields are not enclosed, it was difficult to enforce the ban.”
“We asked the police for assistance; they were here and we thank them. They averted any trouble with their presence here today,” Masienyane added.
The events in Mazenod yesterday showed the magnitude of the task facing the Premier League in controlling the presence of alcohol at stadiums.
And the task facing Lioli to retain their championship, is now similarly daunting after their surprise loss.
After the league’s decision on Thursday to award Matlama three points and three goals for last Sunday’s abandoned tie versus Rovers in Roma, Lioli are now in second place on the Premiership log — three points off pacesetters Matlama.
But in truth, Lioli should have won yesterday’s game, but it was again a frustrating story of missed chances.
After an even, end-to-end first half, Swallows tired as the game wore on. However, a somewhat lacklustre Lioli side failed to capitalise, thanks to inspired Swallows keeper Thulo Ramasele.
Lehlohonolo Mpopo and Malebanye Ramoabi were the worst culprits, but the best chance fell to Seenyane Nthejane who placed Sello ‘Muso’s through pass just wide in the 71st minute.
Lioli’s missed chances would come back to haunt them after giving away a soft free-kick on the edge of the box against run of play. After a noisy build-up from the home fans, Boseka obliged, firing a left-footer into Isaiah Mosala’s top corner to give Swallows their first win since December 20.
Yesterday’s results: Swallows 1-0 Lioli; LCS 3-1 Linare; LMPS 1-0 Likhopo