Ma­jes­tic end to a fine cam­paign

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

MPHAT­LALAT­SANE fi­nally made head­lines for the right rea­son at the week­end fol­low­ing their sur­prise 2-0 win over Mat­lama at pitso Ground.

Very few could have seen the shocker com­ing con­sid­er­ing this was a team bot­tom of the 14-team ta­ble tak­ing on a Mat­lama side not only se­cond on the log but en­joy­ing a dream run.

How­ever, by the end of 90 min­utes, it was the un­der­dogs cel­e­brat­ing while Tse put­soa licked their wounds in hu­mil­i­a­tion, and in their own back­yard to boot.

Yet that is the crazy na­ture of the beau­ti­ful game and what makes foot­ball so spe­cial be­cause you never know what is go­ing to hap­pen.

Also at the week­end, Li­oli beat Likhopo 2-1 in Ma­put­soe while Bantu were at the re­ceiv­ing end once again af­ter go­ing down 1-0 to LCS at LCS Ground — their fourth loss on the trot and by a sim­i­lar score­line

In the other last match of the first half of the sea­son, LDF won 2-0 against Rovers at LCS Ground, mark­ing the end of a truly event­ful first round of the 2015/16 Vo­da­com premier League cam­paign.

I have said it be­fore that this sea­son has been one of the most com­pet­i­tive in the his­tory of do­mes­tic foot­ball and the week­end matches only added to my be­lief.

We had be­come so used to cer­tain “big teams” run­ning away with the hon­ours, but this year, it has been dif­fer­ent and should this con­tinue, I can see a new win­ner emerg­ing come end of the sea­son.

Mean­while, be­cause of the Christ­mas and new Year hol­i­days, the play­ers have been given a break from train­ing so they can spend qual­ity time with fam­ily and friends.

Th­ese boys de­serve this sab­bat­i­cal be­cause they re­ally earned it; go­ing for train­ing day in and day out is never easy and takes real com­mit­ment if not great sac­ri­fice.

Yet this is that time of the year when we know all sorts of trou­ble takes place. Many have lived to re­gret the mis­chief they fall into for the rest of their lives and this in­cludes play­ers, who are only hu­man and can suc­cumb to the many temp­ta­tions which come with the fes­tive sea­son.

But I would like to urge the foot­ballers, and in­deed the rest of the sport­ing fra­ter­nity, most of whom hap­pen to be my age-mates, to be re­spon­si­ble in what­ever they do. Our ath­letes might not ap­pre­ci­ate their sta­tus in so­ci­ety, but the fact is they are role-mod­els whose mis­be­hav­ior can dis­cour­age an im­pres­sion­able young­ster for tak­ing sport se­ri­ously be­cause of the shame­ful be­hav­iour of some­one they would have held in such high es­teem.

Dis­ci­pline is the key to suc­cess and I urge all our ath­letes to al­ways have that in their minds wher­ever they go this Christ­mas hol­i­day.

As for our foot­ballers, they should also re­mem­ber that they are at the half­time break of a very tough match, so they need to come back stronger in the se­cond half if they are to take the game.

The se­cond round of the sea­son only starts next month, and any lapse in train­ing could have dire ef­fects on the play­ers’ per­for­mance come the fi­nal stretch which be­gins in the se­cond week of Jan­uary.

The bot­tom line is the play­ers must take care of their health be­cause they are in a very cruel busi­ness in which he­roes can be­come vil­lains at the flip of a coin.

Year-in and year-out, the se­cond round of the sea­son has proved to be the most com­pet­i­tive and any team that misses a sin­gle beat even­tu­ally pays a very heavy price.

But this is not to say the play­ers should not let their hair down for a spell be­cause like I said, they have given us some good foot­ball so far, and so de­serve some good time, al­beit with ex­treme cau­tion.

Hav­ing said that, on be­half of my col­league and reg­u­lar writer of this col­umn, Mikia Kalati, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christ­mas.

Sun­dawana mid­fielder Raboama Koloti (left) evades Likhopo’s duo of Lehlomela Ram­a­bele (right) and Bokang Mothoana (middle) in this file photo.

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