LDF braces for big title fight

LDF braces for big title fight
LDF braces for big title fight

Africa-Press – Lesotho. Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) head coach Motheo Mohapi has labelled the remaining seven games of the Vodacom Premier League season survival of the fittest. The army side are involved in a fierce title race with league leaders Bantu and only two points separating the two sides.

LDF are looking to win their first league crown since 2004 and this year appears to be their best chance to do so since they finished second to Lesotho Correctional Service in 2011 on the last day of the season.

‘Sohle-Sohle’ are hoping to avoid similar heartbreak this time around and they have their destiny in their hands because LDF and Bantu are set to face one another next month in what could be a title decider.

With a defining month ahead, Motheo urged LDF to improve and insisted they still have a lot to work on which was illustrated by their unconvincing 2-1 win over Lijabatho on Sunday.

Motheo reiterated that the army side are at a stage where they cannot pick and choose which games to turn up for, they need to win all their remaining seven games if they are to be crowned the champions.

Sunday, in fact, was the first time LDF capitalised on Bantu dropping points in the title race after ‘A Matšo Matebele’ lost to Matlama on the same day.

Very often LDF have dropped points when Bantu have done the same. “It happened twice, Bantu dropped points and we did, it happened again and we still dropped points.

We had to go back and work on it because we need to capitalise. We worked on it even though it wasn’t easy but finally they dropped points and we didn’t this time around.

It is now just two points. It is now a survival of the fittest,” he said. At some point, Bantu opened an eight-point gap and it looked as if they would stroll to the finish line with little fight from the opposition but that has changed now.

In fact, the only people rooting for ‘A Matšo Matebele’ are their fans. If LDF won the title, it would not only be good for local football but it would also represent a new dawn.

No team other than Bantu or Matlama has won the league since Lioli in 2016. Perhaps it would awaken the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) who still have an outside chance to win the title.

What about Linare? They are only four points behind Bantu, and those two teams are still to face each other. If they win that contest it would put them just a point behind the leaders.

Looking at the possible scenarios at play here, Mohapi is right; after all, only the fittest will survive. After Matlama’s victory over the log leaders on Saturday, many Bantu supporters left the ground disappointed and felt the technical team gambled with the team and paid dearly.

Bantu were 2-0 down before the 30th minute and head coach Abram Mongoya was a man in trouble and realised whatever plan he had going on had been foiled.

It wasn’t until Litšepe Marabe was brought on as a first half substitute that Bantu started to be more threatening with the ball. He eventually pulled one back for Bantu in the 41st minute, and suddenly the log leaders were back in the game.

Bantu have had numerous chances in the past to open an overwhelming points’ gap but have bottled each and every one of them. Because the teams behind them were not consistent, they have been able to get away with it but they may not now.

Both Bantu and LDF as well as Linare will not be in action this weekend as they are missing several players who are with the national team, and this break may just come in handy for the clubs involved in the title race.

For Mohapi, Bantu’s slips are LDF’s gains. All he wants his side to do is capitalise. That will mean taking their chances and taking better advantage when teams go a man down against them, just as Lijabatho did on Sunday.

“It is a third game now if I am not wrong (that a team has received a red card against LDF).

In the first round I think LCS got a red card and that game ended in a draw, we did not win it. Matlama beat us when they were a man down,” Mohapi said.

“Lijabatho put us under-pressure and they were one man down.

Now we have to work on that problem quickly because where we are now there is pressure; if you don’t fix your issues, you will be in trouble. ” Weekend fixtures:

Saturday (15:00) Liphakoe vs. Swallows (LCS Ground) Lijabatho vs. Machokha (Morija) Sunday Galaxy vs. CCX (DIFA Leribe) Lifofane vs. Naughty Boys (Butha-Buthe) Manonyane vs. Matlama (Nyakosoba)

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