Bantu rule the roost

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

COACH Mot­latsi Shale on Sun­day led Bantu to their third ma­jor tro­phy since join­ing the Mafeteng-based out­fit in July 2013.

A Matšo Mate­bele beat Mat­lama 3-2 to lift the LNIG Top8 tro­phy at Set­soto Sta­dium and pocket the M100 000 win­ners’ prize.

The for­mer na­tional team striker, who pre­vi­ously coached an­other pre­mier league side, Likhopo, said he was “very happy” to win yet an­other tro­phy with Bantu af­ter clinch­ing the premier­ship ti­tle last sea­son and In­de­pen­dence Cup in 2013.

“It was very im­por­tant to add an­other tro­phy to our cabi­net,” Shale said.

“Credit should go to the play­ers who worked very hard since this com­pe­ti­tion started and played so well in the semi­fi­nal and fi­nal to win this tro­phy.” .

Shale fur­ther said he had been “a bit sur­prised” with the team’s flaw­less per­for­mance in Satur­day’s semi-fi­nal, in which they beat Likhopo 3-0 be­fore yet an­other con­vinc­ing 3-1 victory over Mat­lama in the fi­nal.

“I’m al­ways very happy when I bring suc­cess to the team. We worked ex­tremely hard as a tech­ni­cal team, to en­sure the play­ers were ready for the tour­na­ment.

“We had a plan com­ing to th­ese matches and I’m pleased to say it all worked well for us,” said Shale.

“Our man­age­ment should also take credit for giv­ing us the nec­es­sary sup­port that has re­sulted in this suc­cess.”

Club cap­tain, Tlali Maile, also said the team had been determined to lift the tro­phy.

Maile was rock solid in de­fence in the two matches and cred­ited the wins to a sound game-plan and metic­u­lous plan­ning by the coaches.

“We had a good game-plan com­ing to th­ese matches be­cause we knew the semi-fi­nal against Likhopo would not be easy as they have been play­ing well of late,” Maile said.

“And af­ter that win, con­fi­dence was high among the play­ers, but we still kept our feet on the ground and con­cen­trated on the fi­nal. I think in the end, we were de­serv­ing win­ners of this very im­por­tant tour­na­ment.”

Mean­while, with the win­ners tak­ing home M100 000, run­ners-up Mat­lama walked away with M80 000, while third­placed LCS re­ceived M60 000 and Likhopo, in fourth place, were pre­sented with M50 000.

All the quar­ter­fi­nal­ists — Li­oli, LDF, Linare and Qoal­ing High­landers — re­ceived M30 000 each.spon­sored by the Le­sotho Na­tional In­sur­ance Group (LNIG), this an­nual tour­na­ment in­volves teams that would have ended the pre­vi­ous pre­mier league sea­son in the top eight.

Mat­lama de­fender Nkau Lerotholi (right) is closely mon­i­tored by Bantu striker La­zola Tjokotjokoane dur­ing the LNIG fi­nal at Set­soto Sta­dium on Sun­day.

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