Milling firm gives back in spectacular fashion
Mohale’s hoek District Football association (DIFA) vice-president Ntainyane Marabe has hailed lesotho Flour Mills for staging a successful B Division eight-team tournament in their region last weekend.
The two-day Chai soccer spectacular was held at Mohale’s hoek DIFA stadium and bankrolled to the tune of M25 000. The competition featured lilalome, liponono, Mohale’s hoek Nation, hope, Maponyane home Defenders, litau, Killers and Morning stars.
Killers beat lilalome 4-2 on penalties in the final to walk away M15 000 richer, while the runners-up pocketed M5000.
“We are very proud of this tournament; we so wish this could be a continuous event because it would help revive the spirit of football in our district. It is very rare to have B Division teams playing for such amounts of money so this means a lot to us as football administrators, which is why we would like express our gratitude to lesotho Flour Mills for this initiative,” Marabe said.
such big competitions make it easy for district teams such as Majantja to scout for talent, he added.
“I saw coaches from big teams from this district here at the tournament and that says a lot about the importance of this event. The truth is the level of competition in these tournaments is far much better than for league matches. That’s why it is much easier to scout for talent here and groom it at your club as most of these teams are comprised of youngsters,” Marabe said.
“It is a known fact that our teams are struggling financially, even at premier league level, and playing for such sums of money is really a motivation for our players. If we can have more of such tournaments, then we can start talking differently about Mohale’s hoek football. We have talent in this district that only needs to be nurtured.”
on his part, Flour Mills Public Relations Officer, Bofihla Neko said the tournament exceeded expectations.
“I must say this is more than we expected. I mean the reception we received here and the support is so amazing. We just hope this tournament will be better when we hold it again here in april,” Neko said.
“Because it was our first tournament, there were challenges here and there but most importantly, we managed to overcome them and ensure we delivered as planned.”
Neko said in addition to being part of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative, the tournament was also used to promote their Chai product.
“The event is part of our giving back to the community but at the same time, we wanted to promote our Chai brand because we have learnt that there are now too many imported maize-meal products. so Mohale’s hoek was our starting point because the target is to cover the entire country,” said Neko.
“We will be holding this tournament twice a year in December and april. People should start buying Chai and vote for their teams with the voting cards that are found in those packages for their sides to qualify.” Matlama and linare go head-to-head at Pitso Ground on saturday in lesotho’s oldest football rivalry that never fails to produce fireworks.
The two are also the only teams which have never been relegated from the country’s topflight league, which confirms their pedigree and lofty standing in the lesotho game.
Tse Putsoa take to the pitch in high spirits following a hard-fought 1-0 victory over sundawana last sunday, with coach Moses Maliehe telling the Lesotho Times that his charges were determined to do well this season.
“I think we are a work-in-progress, but my boys showed character against a very good sundawana side on sunday,” Maliehe said.
“It is still a long way to go for us and we are working hard to get better with every game.”
Maliehe, who is also the national team coach, further said his charges would play every match like a Cup final.
“It was important for us to start the season well and I think my players are very keen to help the team succeed this season,” said Maliehe.
“It is a relatively young squad, but they have big hearts and are motivated to make a name for themselves.
“They are aware that they have a chance in the league title challenge, but must work hard in every match if they are to win it.”
Tse Putsoa are now four points behind logleaders lioli and can close the gap to three on saturday as Tse Nala would only be in action on sunday.
linare, on the other hand, come into the weekend match after a 2-1 loss to LCS despite scoring first in that tie.
However, the club’s public relations officer, Refiloe Makhobotloane, said there were many positives to take from the lcs defeat. The match was also the first for new coach Motlatsi shale.
“There were a lot of positives to be drawn out of that match against lcs, although we ended up losing the tie,” Makhobotloane said.
“The team played very well and were the better side for the better part of the game. They were only unlucky to concede a late goal, which ten cost us the match.
“I think our boys will give Matlama a run for their money on saturday because we have had a chance to go back to training and work on our weaknesses.”
Makhobotloane further said matches against Matlama and linare always produce fireworks and he expects the same entertainment this time around.
Tse Tala beat Matlama 3-2 in the first round match to had the nine-time league champions their first defeat in six matches. That was Linare’s first win of the season and came as a surprise to many in the soccer fraternity.
In another premiership tie set for saturday, lcs host bottom-of-the-table lmps at lcs Ground.
Masheshena have already collected their first three points of the second round of the season, thanks to a late goal from Mosiuoa Boseka which resulted in a 2-1 win over Linare last sunday.
saturday’s other match will see struggling Rovers hosting sundawana at Machabeng Ground in Roma with both teams seeking their first wins in 2016 after suffering defeats against Kick4life and Matlama, respectively, last weekend.
on sunday, champions lioli travel to Ratjomose Barracks to face LDF while Bantu will be away to struggling Mphatlatsane.
In Sunday’s other fixtures, Kick4life visit Quthing to play liphakoe while likila United host likhopo in Butha-buthe. Full fixtures Saturday: lcs v lmps, sundawana, Matlama v linare.
Sunday: LDF v lioli, Mphatlalatsane v Bantu, liphakoe v Kick4life, likila United v FC likhopo.
Tefo 'Chigo' Maipato scored the winner for Likhopo in the 2-1 victory over LDF at LCS Ground on Saturday.