Relegation battle heats up

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Relegation battle heats up
Relegation battle heats up

Africa-Press – Lesotho. Only eight games are left in the Vodacom Premier League season and the relegation battle is heating up every week. Galaxy, Swallows, Naughty Boys and CCX are the teams involved in the survival scramble and all four have struggled to pick up points all season which is why their premiership lives hang in the balance.

Both CCX and Naughty Boys are just a point above the relegation zone occupied by Galaxy and Swallows as the season enters the final stretch. This weekend CCX are away to Swallows in a classic relegation six-pointer because a win for either will plunge their rivals into further misery.

Elsewhere, Naughty Boys are at home against Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and will have to bounce back from a heavy 5-0 defeat to Bantu on Sunday. Bottom of the table Galaxy, meanwhile, will host Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) in Maputsoe.

Despite the odds being against them, CCX assistant coach Thabiso Ngatane said he is confident the side will start collecting points and have enough to stay up.

Ngatane was the lead figure on Galaxy’s bench against LMPS with Motlalepula Majoro watching from a distance. The experienced Majoro, who previously coached Kick4Life in the top-flight, has been roped in to help the club.

Majoro said he is still getting to know the players which is why he watched the game against LMPS from a distance. When watching Galaxy play, one certainly gets the impression that they should be much higher on the table but their lack of firepower upfront is the big reason they are fighting for their lives.

LMPS left the pitch in frustration after the first half on Sunday because Galaxy were not allowing them to play their normal game or even create chances.

Galaxy’s plan worked well until the second half when a lack of concentration allowed LMPS to take a lead and control the game. Fortunately for Galaxy their rivals were also losing their respective games at the same time.

“We will survive,” Galaxy assistant coach Ngatane said.

“We don’t concede a lot which is a good thing, the problem which we are working on is scoring,” he added.

“We were so unlucky to lose against Swallows but the nice thing is we have played top teams.

Swallows got mixed up so we still have a chance to win other games. The teams around us are also struggling like we are, so there is still hope we will stay up.
After this weekend, Galaxy will only be left with Linare as an opponent in the top six and all their opponents going forward are teams towards the bottom of the table.

This includes Lioli who have been underwhelming to say the least this season and any team that faces ‘Tse Nala’ seems to have a 50-50 chance of winning.

Lioli were hammered 4-0 by Lijabatho in Morija last Saturday and Galaxy will no doubt be fancying their chances to get points against ‘Tse Nala’ as well.

Ngatane said Galaxy lost key players due to injuries and the substitutions they made against LMPS did not impact the game positively for them. Basia Makepe opened the scoring for LMPS after confusion in Galaxy’s ranks.

“After conceding our intensity went down, even the injuries we had to key players affected us and we could not maintain it,” Ngatane said.

“The substitutions we made affected our game negatively because when you lose key players in a game of this magnitude you will be lacking. After hitting us with the first goal they scored the second one and we had to control the situation to make sure we didn’t concede a lot.”

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