Bantu vow to fight to the bit­ter end

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Mikia Kalati

Bantu cap­tain, tlali Maile, in­sists his col­leagues will take the battle to de­fend their pre­mier league ti­tle to the “very bit­ter end”.

this is de­spite cham­pi­onship ri­vals Li­oli hold­ing a three-point ad­van­tage with two matches re­main­ing be­fore the 2014/15 sea­son comes to a close.

A Matšo Mate­bele host Mphat­lat­sane in Mafeteng in Satur­day’s penul­ti­mate tie of the cam­paign, while ta­ble-top­ping tse nala face Likhopo at LCS Ground.

all Le­sotho pre­mier league matches start at the same time — 3pm — on Satur­day to en­sure fair play and that none of the team of­fi­cials are tempted to bribe ref­er­ees or ri­val ad­min­is­tra­tors to get the much-needed wins.

ac­cord­ing to Maile, Bantu have not lost hope of re­tain­ing their ti­tle de­spite Li­oli’s ad­van­tage.

“We have not thrown-in the towel as yet; any­thing is pos­si­ble in foot­ball. all we have to do is win all our re­main­ing two matches and see what hap­pens with Li­oli,” Maile said.

“What mat­ters now is to make sure we win th­ese two matches and take the battle to the very bit­ter end; we will not give up this fight.”

the vet­eran de­fender added even if Bantu lose the ti­tle, he was proud of what the team had achieved this sea­son.

“I think we have done pretty well so far, con­sid­er­ing the LNIG top8 ti­tle is al­ready in our cabi­net,” said Maile.

“again, the team has been very con­sis­tent; we have only lost two league matches so far this sea­son and to be hon­est, the de­feats were due to over-con­fi­dence on our part.

“the matches I am re­fer­ring to were against LMPS and nyenye Rovers, and th­ese are teams that have been fight­ing for sur­vival all sea­son. We shouldn’t have lost those matches but be­cause of over-con­fi­dence, we did.”

Maile was also full of praise for star-striker, Litšepe Marabe, who scored his 20th and 21st league goals of the sea­son last week­end.

“Litšepe’s con­tri­bu­tion has been mas­sive and his goals have kept the team shin­ing. It took him time to set­tle, but once he did, he never looked back and was able to fill the boots of our top scorer last sea­son, tse­bang ‘Owen’ Le­bata, who is side­lined due to a long-term in­jury.”

How­ever, Li­oli util­ity player, Jerry Kamela, told the Le­sotho Times that Satur­day’s match against Likhopo was “the most im­por­tant for us as it could de­cide the des­tiny of the league ti­tle”.

Kamela added: “the boys have to re­main calm head­ing into this match be­cause we are three points ahead of Bantu.

“We just need to play our nor­mal game and en­sure we get all the three points on of­fer. Who knows? Bantu might lose against Mphat­lat­sane and then it will be all over.

“Win­ning the league cham­pi­onship has been our main am­bi­tion the whole sea­son and we can­not af­ford to slip-up now af­ter all the hard work we put in through­out the sea­son.”

the left-footed player, who has been one of Li­oli’s most out­stand­ing play­ers this sea­son, said Tse Nala have been the best team in Le­sotho this sea­son, hence they de­served do­mes­tic foot­ball’s big­gest prize.

“De­spite los­ing some of our key play­ers to long-term in­juries and per­sonal rea­sons, I feel we had depth and were the best team through­out the cam­paign,” said Kamele.

“We only lost once this sea­son — against Mat­lama in Jan­uary — and this should be enough ev­i­dence that we were the bet­ter of the other 13 teams in the pre­mier league.”

Fix­tures Satur­day: Likhopo v Li­oli, Qoal­ing High­landers v Mat­lama, Bantu v Mphat­lalat­sane, nyenye Rovers v LMPS, Linare v LCS, Kick­4life v Sun­dawana, Lik­ila v LDF.

LI­OLI de­fender Kopano Tseka (left) runs for the ball with Bantu for­ward Nzenze Nkulu dur­ing a pre­mier league match.

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