Bantu take league race to the wire

By: Nthako Majoro
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MASERU-Bantu took the league race to the wire when they beat the defending champions, Lioli, 2-1 in an explosive Premiership tie at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday.

The victory stamped Bantu's authority on top of the log table as it saw them opening a 5-point gap between them and Lioli who are currently lying on second spot on 41 points.

The triumph also became a big victory for the Mafeteng giants who on the same day celebrated their 90th anniversary, in front of a big crowd.

Bantu were the first to score as early as the fifth minute through Lits'epe Marabe's header.

This was after Lioli's defence failed to clear the ball out of the six yards, thus giving Marabe an opportunity to find the back of the net.

Tse Nala's last man, Kopano Tseka went for a header before Marabe, who does not match him in stature but missed the target.

His goalkeeper, Liteboho Mokhesi was at the time off his goal-line.

However, Lioli equalised through a penalty kick netted by Jerry Kamela.

Lioli were awarded the penalty kick in the 25th minute after Obakeng Modirwa was brought down in the box when he went for a header from the corner kick from Tumelo 'Makhopo' Khutlang.

The corner kick came after the same Khutlang mesmerised the Bantu defence in the left.

Just like in the first half, Bantu's winning goal came as early as 7th minute of the second half through a well-taken shot by Hlompho Kalake outside the box.

Bantu played pressure football from the first whistle, taking the game to Lioli time and again whenever on ball possession.

And their effort was rewarded very early in the game with Marabe's goal.

Lioli however managed to absorb the pressure after the goal with that the game became balanced.

Then the match was dominated by individual brilliances one after the other from both sides.

One of them was Marabe, who when on ball possession was a constant menace to Lioli's defence.

He nearly scored brace in the 24th minute of the first half, had Mokhehle did not successfully saved his close range well-taken shot.

Mokhehle hit the shot with knees before his defender, Shetsane Ramoseka, cleared it out with a header.

Bantu's Hlompho Kalake was also a marvel to watch in the midfield, with Lebata in the left and Moloisane Ramasimong in the right.

Likewise, Lioli's dribbling wizard Bushy Moletsane had a good afternoon at Setsoto Stadium.

His dribbling tricks worked for him as he easily penetrated his opponents and destabilised Bantu from enjoying the dominance in the middle of the park.

The other Lioli player who was like a thorn to Bantu was Khutlang.

The midfield maestro got the better of his opponents with good touches and dribbling every time he had the ball on his feet, thus making them lose concentration.

However, Lioli's effort to try and level the score failed.

Their evergreen goal poacher Ts'epo Seturumane fired blanks.

Weekend results in a glance Saturday:

Rovers 1-3 BB Warriors

Linare 3-2 Kick4Life

Matlama 1-1 FC Likhopo

Sunday: LCS 1-1 LMPS

Bantu 2-1 Lioli

Liphakoe 1-0 Sandawana

LDF 1-0 Sky Battalion

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