Majantja make strong comeback

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NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – Majantja have secured promotion back to the Vodacom Premier League (VPL), with three matches remaining in the Lesotho PostBank A Division season. The Mohale’s Hoek-based side clinched victory against Qoaling Highlanders with a 1-0 scoreline at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena last Sunday, elevating their points tally to 37 from 15 matches.

Prior to the weekend matches, Majantja had already established a seven-point lead over second-placed Members and third-placed Highlanders. Members also based in Mazenod suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Quthing LMPS on the same day, further solidifying Majantja’s advantage. Highlanders and Members, both accumulating 27 points from the same number of matches as Majantja, were the primary contenders for VPL promotion before their weekend losses.

Notably, Highlanders and Members were the only teams to defeat Majantja in the first round, with scores of 2-1 and 1-0, respectively, marking Majantja’s only losses in the 15 matches played. With the recent victory, Majantja have opened up a substantial 10-point gap between them and both Members and Highlanders, making it mathematically impossible for the trailing teams to surpass them, even if they win all their remaining matches.

Majantja’s coach, Bafokeng Mohapi, expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance, saying that securing promotion to the Premier League was their primary goal from the beginning. “Securing promotion back to the Premier League has always been our primary objective from the get-go. However, we did experience a setback by dropping points against Highlanders and Members consecutively in the first round.”

Reflecting on their earlier setbacks against the Highlanders and Members, Mohapi asserted that the scores did not accurately reflect the team’s overall performance. He added: “However, we remained calm as we understood that this journey was more of a marathon than a sprint. We were confident that, by taking it one step at a time, we would eventually reach our goal.”

Acknowledging the tougher challenges in the Premier League, Mohapi disclosed the team’s strategy to strengthen their squad for the upcoming 2024–25 season. He emphasised the preference for youthful players, adding: “We want players who are under 25 downwards.” He highlighted the recent inclusion of 16-year-old Rethabile Nqoko as a testament to their commitment to a younger side.

Mohapi acknowledged the need to maintain some experienced players but ruled out the reinforcement of the team with additional older players. Majantja’s promotion marks a notable return to the Premier League, having previously experienced relegation in the 2018–19 season. Despite their recent setbacks, Majantja boasts two Lesotho Premier League titles in 1971 and 1995, demonstrating their historic prowess in the top-flight league.

Majantja came close to returning to the Premier League at the beginning of the current season after buying Kick4Life FC status to the tune of M180 000, but the deal was stalled when the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) said Majantja must register for the 2022–23 season using Kick4Life’s name.

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