Bantu vow to fight to the bitter end
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.