BY REITUMETSE MABALEHA
Maseru- In the all so important clash of Lioli FC and Bantu FC, stakes were high. It was more all on the line when these two giants met at Setsoto Stadium on Saturday than the three points that were on stake. Pride, top 4 place and a chance at the title were.
The match began with both teams showing less intention of any attack. The play was very dull for the first minutes of the game. The first real chance came from the visiting team Bantu FC. It was a through ball from Lindokuhle Phungulwa to Lazola Tjokotjokwana. It was made swiftly past the whole defence of the hosts. Very fortunately for Lioli, the man between the posts, Jessy Matsie was well aware of the danger and he scooped the ball for safety.
From that point on, Bantu made the most attempts in front of their opponents’ goals. On the 15th minute, Montoeli Sonopo almost put Lioli ahead. It was from a free kick; where Lazola recklessly tackled Belson Chana. It was quite a few feet away from the 18 yard area. It was a well taken set piece that Lichaba dived and caught though it almost beat him. This was the first real chance of Lioli at goals.
Bantu’s play maker, Lindo, seemed to be struggling with an injury. He was often taken on and off the field to nurse it, but it was quite serious. So, he was taken off on the 43rd minute of the first half. The coach replaced him with Hlompho Kalake. This was the second substitute for the visitors, because earlier on the 32nd minute, Neo Mokhachane was introduced to take place of the underperforming Mothetsi.
On the 44th minute, Lazola put Bantu ahead. He had taken two defenders in front of the box he shot it past the goal line into the net. The keeper, Matsie, would have been able to save it, but his view was obstructed by his teammate Lits’oane Koetle. These things happen in football.
They went to the half time with Bantu in the lead.
After half time Lioli was a bit different; they showed more aggression when going forward. Their danger man, Switberth Kum Bin, was given a few chances of attack. He is usually the most destructive force of Tse Nala, especially against their bitter rivals Bantu. They were attacking with Lekhanya and Sonopo. These two men often attempted at goals, buy it wasn’t to be.
The visitors made their last change. Tsietsi Motseare made way for Mokone Marabe. He has a tendency of making match winning changes. He was also persistent when going forward, but the score line never changed.
On the other hand, Lioli made a change late into the game. Lekhanya was taken out in favour of Mokuena. He tried to revive his team but it was too little too late. Bantu won the match by a tight goal to nil. This win meant that they’ll surpass Matlama to claim the peak position of the table for the first time this season.
Between the two teams; Bantu and Lioli, six points were shared evenly this season. They each won a match by a goal to nil, for their two league meetings.