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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Teele Ntšonyana takes over as Linare coach

Can Teele Ntšonyana turn things around at struggling Linare?
Former Lesotho striker and Liphakoe coach Teele Ntšonyana has taken over as coach of struggling Vodacom Premier League outfit Linare.

The former giants, who won two league titles in 1979 and 1980, are 11th in the 14-team Vodacom Premier League with only 14 points from 18 games.

Linare have never been relegated from Lesotho’s top-flight but they have flirted with the axe for the past two campaigns finishing six points above the drop zone last season and surviving by just four points in 2015.

They are in danger again this season.

Tse Tala have lost their last five matches in a row and haven’t won a league game since beating Liphakoe 2-1 on November 19.

Linare’s bad run:
19/02/17:  Linare 0-2 Bantu
12/02/17:  Linare 1-2 Sundawana
29/01/17:  Sky Battalion 3-2 Linare
21/01/17:  Linare 0-1 Lioli
14/01/17:  LCS 3-0 Linare
03/12/16:  Likhopo 1-1 Linare
26/11/16:  Linare 2-2 LDF
19/11/16:  Liphakoe 1-2 Linare          
L
L
L
L
L
D
D
W

Ntšonyana becomes Linare’s second coach this season after Motlatsi Shale resigned in October. The Leribe side had been under the caretaker charge of Teboho Shopeng and None Mohapi after Shale’s departure.

Tse Nala have had a season to forget and the only bright spark has been the form of on-loan Bantu striker Nzenze Nkulu who has scored 12 goals to led the league’s goal-scoring charts.

Linare hope Ntšonyana’s appointment will steer their ship clear of danger. 12th placed Rovers are only three points behind Linare while Likhopo, who are in the final relegation spot, are five points adrift of Tse Tala. Both Rovers and Likhopo have played a game less than Linare.

Linare’s next game is next Sunday against Sundawana.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mothoana recalled to Likuena squad

Bokang 'Lefty' Mothoana (right) is back in the Likuena fold...
Kick4Life midfielder Bokang ‘Lefty’ Mothoana has been recalled to the Lesotho national squad by Likuena coach Moses Maliehe after a year’s absence.

Likuena have been training three days a week as they prepare for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers which begin in April and Mothoana has been rewarded for his fine form for the Vodacom Premier League title-chasers.

Maliehe said Mothoana, who spent six years with Union Sportive Monastirienne in Tunisia before returning home in 2013, had been left out from his original squad selected last December due to a niggling injury which has since healed.

“He has been doing well for his club hence the call-up. There was no reason not to give him a chance,” Maliehe said.

The Likuena coach has also recalled Mothoana’s club-mate Thapelo Tale. Tale joined Kick4Life last month after leaving Lioli and has been on fire scoring four goals in two appearances. Also back in the Likuena fold are Bantu captain Thapelo Mokhehle and Sundawana defender Motlomelo Mkhwanazi.

Maliehe said the quartet has replaced Sundawana defender Johannes Molapo, Kick4Life striker Motlalepula Chabeli, Sky Battalion’s Keketso Snyders and LDF midfielder Koete Mohloai.

However, Maliehe stressed he has not shut the door on any players and further changes could still be made to his Likuena squad.

Bantu captain Thapelo Mokhehle has also been recalled...
“The players we have at the moment are not the final squad. We will still be on the lookout for those who are playing well at their respective clubs and give them a chance until June this year,” Maliehe said.

Maliehe also explained that the current rainy conditions in Maseru have forced the squad to conduct all of their training sessions indoors at Lehakoe Gym. The team has been under-going physical conditioning at the gym with sessions at Setsoto Stadium not possible at the moment.

As part of their preparations Likuena have also made use of Bloemfontein’s High Performance Centre.

Likuena also played practice matches against South African premier league sides Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars. Maliehe’s charges drew 1-1 with Celtic and lost 5-1 to Stars. 

In addition to its CHAN assignments, Lesotho starts its 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in June where Likuena have been drawn against Uganda, Cape Verde and Tanzania in Group L.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Matlama woes continue with LCS defeat, Sky Battalion bounce back

Ageless... LDF striker Mojela Letsie was on the scoresheet again for Sohle-Sohle
Matlama’s woes continued on Saturday as they were beaten 2-0 by LCS in Vodacom Premier League action at the LCS Stadium. The loss seriously damages Matlama’s chances of finishing in the top four. Tse Putsoa are now six points adrift of fourth-placed LCS, and they have played a game more than Masheshena.

Saturday’s display against LCS was another worrying one, especially after Matlama had shown signs of life in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Bantu. But, that is how the season has gone for Matlama. Tse Putsoa haven’t won back-to-back matches since October and they were outplayed by a better organised LCS outfit.

For Masheshena, the win keeps them fourth in the standings. The goals for Mpitsa Marai’s side were scored by their new Ghanaian striker Daniel Tumatsu.

Earlier in the day Sky Battalion bounced back from last week’s 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Kick4Life by thumping floundering Butha-Buthe Warriors by the same score-line. Bonang Mohapi’s brace and another goal for the in-form Tsietsi Motšeare were enough for SK to claim all three points. Motšeare has now scored eight goals this season for the premiership new boys.

Butha-Buthe Warriors, on the other hand, are still without a win all season and are in danger of becoming the first side to go an entire campaign without winning a game.

In Saturday’s other game, LDF and LMPS played to a 1-1 draw at Ratjomose. Sohle-Sohle took the lead through ageless striker Mojela Letsie. The goal brought Letsie level to the top of the goal-scoring charts with 12 goals alongside Linare’s Nzenze Nkulu and Kick4Life’s Thabiso Brown.

Heads up... LCS got the better of Matlama
However, LDF were unable to hang on to the three points with Basia Makepe equalising to earn Semunye a point.

The point doesn’t do much for LDF or LMPS, though.

LDF remain ninth, outside the top eight. LMPS remain sixth but are now four points behind fourth-placed LCS.

Results:
Saturday’s Vodacom Premier League results:
LDF 1-1 LMPS
Sky Battalion 3-0 Butha-Buthe Warriors
Matlama 0-2 LCS

Vodacom Premier League Standings


P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts.
1
Kick4Life
17
12
2
3
35
16
19
38
2
Bantu
17
11
4
2
32
9
23
37
3
Lioli
16
11
2
3
30
8
22
35
4
LCS
17
9
4
4
24
16
8
31
5
Sky Battalion
18
9
3
6
24
19
5
30
6
LMPS
18
6
9
3
17
14
3
27
7
Matlama
18
7
7
4
28
13
15
25
8
Sundawana
17
6
7
4
16
15
1
25
9
LDF
17
5
7
5
16
16
0
19
10
Liphakoe
16
5
4
7
15
20
-5
19
11
Linare
17
3
5
9
24
29
-5
14
12
Rovers
17
2
5
10
13
29
-16
11
13
Likhopo
17
2
3
12
14
29
-15
9
14
Butha-Buthe Warriors
18
0
2
16
10
64
-54
2
·         Matlama docked 3 points
·         LDF docked 3 points and 3 goals