Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bantu in pole position


Almost there...
Bantu fans in full cry
Two consecutive draws have rarely felt so good for Bantu, and with five games remaining, A Matšo Matebele have the destiny of the Vodacom Premier League in their own hands. It’s no wonder, then, confidence is soaring in Mafeteng as its heroes seek to clinch a first-ever league title.

On Sunday Bantu were held to a 1-1 draw by LMPS – perhaps a disappointing result – but it didn’t matter as second-placed Lioli only managed a goalless draw against Matlama. So, Bantu still lead Lioli by a point, with a game in hand.

Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate was Lioli’s third draw in a row and they seem to be losing their scoring boots at just the wrong time.

Indeed, it is Lioli’s scoring form more than anything else which makes Bantu favourites in the run-in.

Ordinarily Tse Nala would expect to win their remaining four matches which include three ties against relegation-threatened sides. However, a lack of goals makes their run-in more uncertain than it should be. Lioli have now scored just once in their last four games in a season that has yielded only 21 goals in 18 games. More worrying, Tšepo Seturumane has scored 13 of those goals.

This reliance on Seturumane has been apparent in recent outings and Lioli’s run-in begins with a tough test against a resurgent Likhopo side this Sunday. From there Lioli face three of the bottom five sides – Joy, Mpharane Celtic and Nyenye Rovers.

Bantu’s schedule looks much more daunting. A Matšo Matebele face LDF (away), LCS (home) and Linare (away) before ending the season hosting Qoaling Highlanders at the Leshoboro Seeiso Stadium. Bantu will also have a tie against Matlama, originally postponed in February due to Matlama’s suspension, thrown somewhere in the mix.

Nevertheless, leading by a point and with a game in hand, Bantu remain in pole position for the championship.

Unlike rivals Lioli, Bantu have managed to find various ways of scoring. At this stage of the season that could be the difference.

Bantu’s remaining fixtures
20 April LDF v Bantu (Ratjomose, 15:00)
4 May Bantu v LCS (Mafeteng, 15:00)
11 May Linare v Bantu (Hlotse, 15:00)
18 May Bantu v Qoaling Highlanders (Mafeteng, 15:00)
(Matlama v Bantu still to be re-scheduled)

Lioli’s remaining fixtures
21 April Likhopo v Lioli (Ratjomose, 15:00)
4 May Lioli v Joy (Lioli Stadium, 15:00)
12 May Mpharane Celtic v Lioli (St Michaels, 15:00)
18 May Lioli v Nyenye Rovers (Lioli Stadium, 15:00)

Costly draw for Lioli, valuable point for Matlama
There’s little doubt now the title race is a two-horse race, regardless of LDF’s come-from-behind win over Qoaling Highlanders on Sunday.

Even with their solid 2-1 triumph, Sohle-Sohle are nine points behind leaders Bantu, eight behind Lioli, and need a minor miracle to claim their first league title since 2004.

Things are equally bleak for two-time defending champions LCS. Masheshena are in fifth place with 24 points and will officially surrender their title this weekend if they fail to beat Qoaling Highlanders.

The league’s form team, meanwhile, is Likhopo who won their third straight game (3-1 over Mpharane Celtic on Saturday) to leapfrog Linare into sixth place. Linare are seventh with Joy in eighth.

From Joy downwards it looks like a relegation battle. Joy have games in hand on the rest of the pack and should survive, but it’s not yet a certainty.

Celtic are on a dismal run of form and have conceded an eye-watering 42 goals in 18 matches while Highlanders’ defeat to LDF means they are just four points above the drop zone, currently occupied by Matlama and Nyenye Rovers.

11th-placed Matlama resumed their league campaign last weekend after their disciplinary case was settled and have since claimed two morale-boosting draws. Tse Putsoa have 12 points from 12 games but have six games in hand on Celtic directly above them and five on Highlanders in ninth place.

Tse Putsoa, therefore, will still fancy themselves to get out of relegation trouble. 

Things don’t look so good for bottom of the table Nyenye Rovers, though. They look destined for a quick return to the A-Division.

Results
Saturday, 13 April
LCS 0-0 Linare
Mpharane Celtic 1-3 Likhopo
Lioli 0-0 Matlama
Sunday, 14 April
Joy 0-0 Nyenye Rovers
Qoaling Highlanders 1-2 LDF
Bantu 1-1 LMPS

Vodacom Premier League


P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Bantu
17
11
4
2
32
15
17
37
2
Lioli
18
10
6
2
21
8
13
36
3
LDF
16
7
7
2
21
11
10
28
4
LMPS
18
7
4
7
13
12
1
25
5
LCS
16
6
6
4
13
11
2
24
6
Likhopo
17
7
2
8
16
16
0
23
7
Linare
17
5
6
6
18
14
4
21
8
Joy
15
4
5
6
19
24
-5
17
9
Qoaling Highlanders
17
4
4
9
14
23
-8
16
10
Mpharane Celtic
18
3
6
9
24
42
-18
14
11
Matlama
12
3
3
6
12
16
-4
12
12
Nyenye Rovers
17
1
9
8
10
22
-12
12

1 comment:

  1. I am now not certain the place you are getting your information, however good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for magnificent info I was in search of this information for my mission.


    my web blog :: pain behind knee

    ReplyDelete