MASERU- Saturday’s 3-0 victory against FC Likhopo has extended Bantu FC lead on the summit of the Vodacom Premier League log with 21 points, a four points gap between second placed side LCS FC.
A Matšo Matebele’s 3-5-2 formation proved good enough to allow the team to put Likhopo’s defense under pressure, which led to their defender Lisema Sehloho’s own goal beating his ‘keeper Fusi Ranone in the 28th minute. Bantu’s Lehlohonolo Fothoane netted the second goal in the 38th minute through an assist from Litšepe Marabe to make it 2-0 before the half time.
Likhopo’s 4-5-1 formation was incised as their lone striker, Thabiso Mari, did not get any support from either the midfield, right-wing and left-wing as he kept on collecting balls for himself.
Bantu came back more determined in the second half with Litšepe Marabe converting the third goal in the 52nd minute, assisted by Bokang Sello – making the game tougher for the ‘Red Devils’ who struggled with ball possession in the midfield.
The introduction of Neo Mokhachane and Tokelo Klaas in the second half failed to yield Bantu any more goals while Likhopo, on the other side, could not manage to make dangerous attempts at Bantu goal posts.
In a post-match interview Bantu FC coach, Bob Mafoso, said they knew that Likhopo would open spaces for his team to play and they did that after some time in the first half.
“We did not make as many chances as we planned but rather managed to make few chances. We defended well. We kept possession but we did not shake them well enough.
They were not that much of a threat to us inside the pitch. We did not give Likhopo respect like we did with Liphakoe and LMPS in the past weeks. Our challenge is to not end the game with a draw as our opponents may expect in coming to the match,” Mafoso remarked.
For his part, FC Likhopo coach Halemakale Mahlaha pointed out that his players tried their best as per their experience.
“We were unfortunate to sustain an injury of our key player Bushy Moletsane in the first half. We did not manage to play, but defensively we managed as you realized that three goals we concede were not straight goals but our team mistakes.
Thabiso Mari did not get enough support upfront and held the ball for long without being assisted. My boys have improved a lot. I do not believe we can be in relegation zone. I have a believe that in the coming matches, we will perform well even though we have some injuries,” he added.