Africa-Press – Lesotho. Liphakoe and Likhopo locked horns in a rather difficult match that ended with a draw (0-0) in their first Vodacom Premier League (VPL) match encounter at Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) ground
over the weekend. The second round of the VPL league resumed with no spectators, a move that was executed in a bid to control the spread of the Covid-19.
In a generally intense match, Liphakoe created a few chances for their counterparts, as their striking force was not that much promising owing to the absence of their powerful striker, Thabiso Mari who has been
called up to the senior national team; Likuena, which is still competing in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) tournament. However,
Likhopo was stable enough to absorb the pressure of the oppositions as Liphakoe was using their wing players with good pace when launching an attack. In the 50th minute
Liphakoe attacked more using their skilful midfielder with a good ball touch and a good off ball runner Tšeliso Ramafikeng. Ramafikeng received a wonderful
pass from the midfield and he got enough time to make deep square ball that found the header of Liphakoe captain Nyarko Patrick who hit the post and the ball
bounce back in the pitch where the captain took another close shot which was blocked by the hand of Likhopo defender and Liphakoe was finally rewarded with the
penalty. The penalty was taken by Liphakoe striker Thapelo Tale who was not lucky enough and missed the penalty which lead the final score to 0-0. In a one-on-one interview with
Liphakoe Assistant Coach Tšepo Hlojeng, he indicated that he was not impressed by the performance of the players because they put unnecessary pressure on
themselves in the first half of the match while Likhopo sat behind the ball, creating a strong defence line that needed to be broken by only possessing more on their
half. “We created more chances in the second half that my boys did to convert due to lack of confidence when reaching the final third so we have to get back
to the drawing board and deal with the finishing and that will automatically bring back the confidence of our players,’’ said Hlojeng. The Assistant Coach
further stated that they are now more focused on building the team and said they have less number of players thus that urged them to sign five or six more players
to reinforce the team. Likhopo Head Coach Halemakale Mahlaha told Informative Sport that he is thrilled for collecting a point in the first match of the second round because that gives the team a direction it
will take in the upcoming fixtures. Mahlaha mentioned that they did not get enough time to prepare for the game even though the team did not lose the match.
He further stated that Likhopo will be a completely new team in the VPL second round due to excess of players as schools are closed and students are home. 80% of Likhopo
squad is made up young players who are still schooling. Weekend VPL results are as follows; Matlama 2- 0 CCX, Lioli 1- 0 Lijabatho, Kick4life 1-0 Linare, Lifofane
2-2 Manonyane and Swallows 1-1 Sefothafotha.