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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bantu fail to consolidate, Lioli fail to capitalise

Lioli and Bantu drop points, Nyenye continue to fight hard, and Joy get their first win. This weekend’s Vodacom Premier League talking points…

Catch me if you can...
Everyone's still chasing Lioli
Both Bantu and Lioli will be kicking themselves this Monday morning. Hard.

Bantu failed to build on their win over Lioli last weekend, only managing a 1-1 draw with Nyenye Rovers and Lioli, in turn, failed to capitalise on A Matšo Matebele’s slip-up drawing 1-1 with LDF after conceding a late equaliser.

For Lioli it is becoming a worrying trend – conceding after taking the lead. The champions have the best offence in the Vodacom Premier League scoring 28 goals in 12 matches, but their defence is beginning to be called into question.

It certainly cost them against Bantu two weekends ago, a match in which Tse Nala also went ahead, and it let them down again this weekend. Lioli drew 1-1 with Linare as well.

This set of results also represents a sort of mixed bag for Tse Nala. Lioli have come through a difficult stretch – Matlama, LMPS, LCS, Bantu and LDF – pretty much unscathed, but they are struggling to dominate their rivals at the top.

Bantu will be disappointed too, maybe more than Lioli After drawing their first two games, Bantu went on an unbeaten run of eight wins and a draw, plus an Independence Cup title. However, a point against Nyenye Rovers leaves A Matšo Matebele still behind Lioli which ultimately is all that matters – even if they beat Lioli in head-to-head clashes.

Nyenye Rovers are fighting
In the past three weeks Nyenye Rovers have beaten LDF, drawn with Linare and now held title-chasing Bantu to a draw. Rovers are really fighting hard. In fact, Rovers are unbeaten in six games, a run that stretches back to September 29. Expected to be right in the thick of the relegation fight, Rovers are producing miracles. Though by no means out of danger yet, Rovers are seven points above the drop zone, with a game in hand.

Third-place up for grabs
With the top two pretty much entrenched, the battle Lesotho’s other big boys is now for third place. So far no team has shown the consistency to make the spot their own. Linare are its current occupants and it would be their best finish in almost a decade. But, Tse Tala are notoriously inconsistent.

Matlama for third?
Matlama are firmly in the race. Tse Putsoa now have two games in hand on the sides around them after their game against Likhopo was rescheduled because of call-ups to the Lesotho Under-20 side. But, there really is no clear favourite for third and even LCS, in ninth, may well believe they can still crack the top three after notching their first win since September 21 yesterday.

Joy get their first win
There was joy for Joy yesterday as they finally got their first win of the season. Joy beat fellow relegation favourites Melele to get the monkey off their backs, and regards relegation, get to within five points of safety at least.

Weekend Results
Saturday, 23 November
Nyenye Rovers 1-1 Bantu
Linare 1-1 Mphatlalatsane
Lioli 1-1 LDF
Likhopo v Matlama (Postponed)
Sunday, 24 November
Joy 2-1 Melele
Mpharane Celtic 0-1 LCS
Qoaling Highlanders 2-1 LMPS

Vodacom Premier League


P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Lioli
12
9
2
1
28
9
+19
29
2
Bantu
12
8
4
0
21
3
+18
28
3
Linare
12
6
4
2
17
10
+7
22
4
Matlama
10
6
2
2
12
7
+5
20
5
LDF
12
5
5
2
12
8
+4
20
6
Likhopo
11
5
3
3
14
9
+5
18
7
Qoaling Highlanders
11
4
3
4
10
11
-1
15
8
Mphatlalatsane
12
3
4
5
14
15
-1
13
9
LCS
10
3
3
4
7
6
+1
12
10
Nyenye Rovers
11
2
6
3
10
10
+0
12
11
LMPS
12
3
2
7
10
15
-5
11
12
Mpharane Celtic
12
2
3
7
14
28
-14
9
13
Melele
12
1
2
9
8
23
-15
5
14
Joy
11
1
1
9
5
28
-23
4

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