Mat­lama look set for an­other bar­ren sea­son

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

MAT­LAMA’S league ti­tle hopes seem to be fad­ing with each pass­ing match fol­low­ing their 1-1 draw against Likhopo last Satur­day.

The shared spoils meant Tse Put­soa re­mained third on the 14-team premier­ship ta­ble be­hind LCS and log-lead­ers Li­oli.

Tse Put­soa have also had to deal with the blow of be­ing knocked out of the LNIG Top8 tour­na­ment in the quar­ter­fi­nals a fort­night ago and as things stand, it will take some­thing spe­cial for them to win the league cham­pi­onship this sea­son.

Of course, Mat­lama are just three points be­hind Li­oli and trail LCS by a sin­gle point, but they have played one game more than the pace­set­ters.

Li­oli are on 37 points from 16 games, while Mat­lama have 34 points from 17 matches. LCS have 35 points from 17 matches and what should be of con­cern for Mat­lama is both teams ahead of them on the ta­ble have been win­ning con­sis­tently.

I’m sure Mat­lama’s in­con­sis­tency is wor­ry­ing to coach Moses Maliehe as a win against Likhopo would have seen them leapfrog LCS into se­cond place.

Back-to-back draws — against LMPS and Likhopo —are not ideal for a team hop­ing to land the league ti­tle, hence this should be cause for con­cern for the Mat­lama camp.

With Maliehe likely to quit the team for the na­tional side at the end of the sea­son, it would have been ideal for him to de­liver the team’s 10th league ti­tle be­fore wav­ing good­bye to club foot­ball.

But for this to hap­pen, the play­ers must up their game, oth­er­wise this will be yet an- other tro­phy-less sea­son for Le­sotho’s team with the most league cham­pi­onships.i still feel last month’s de­par­ture of de­fen­sive stal­wart, Nkau Lerotholi, for LMPS will haunt Mat­lama for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Lerotholi is not just any other player, but here we are talk­ing about a de­fender who has been very con­sis­tent at the high­est level for close to a decade.

The cen­tre-back also com­manded a lot of re­spect among his team­mates at Tse Put­soa and it is clear the team is now strug­gling be­cause of his ab­sence as he was lead­ing by ex­am­ple hav­ing been the cap­tain for so long.

Maybe the best op­tion now would be to give an ex­pe­ri­enced player such as Mabuti Pot­loane the armband be­cause as I see it, that re­spon­si­bil­ity is too heavy for stand-in cap­tain Jane Tha­ban­tšo.

Tha­ban­tšo is still a young player who still has a lot to learn while Pot­loane made the most of the re­spon­si­bil­ity when he was still with Linare be­fore mov­ing to Mat­lama last sea­son.i know Phafane Tšosane is the cap­tain of the team, but he has been out of the game for a while be­cause of in­jury.

But just like Tha­ban­tšo, I feel he is also not ready to carry the bur­den which comes with be­ing Mat­lama cap­tain.

As for Pot­loane, the mid­fielder re­turned to ac­tion last week­end af­ter a lengthy lay­off due to in­jury and scored Mat­lama’s only goal against Likhopo to un­der­line his pedi­gree.

Maybe what Pot­loane needs is the cap­tain’s armband to re­turn to his sparkling best be­cause we all know what he can do with the ball no-mat­ter the op­po­si­tion.

So the sooner Mat­lama can re­dis­cover their form, the bet­ter be­cause Li­oli and LCS mean busi­ness and don’t look like they will drop points eas­ily like what Mat­lama have been do­ing.

Both Li­oli and LCS abound with qual­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence and will surely want to make the best of it as the league race en­ters its fi­nal stretch.

Surely Li­oli will put more ef­fort into their league cam­paign now that they have been elim­i­nated from the African Cham­pi­ons League by Vi­tal’ô of Bu­rundi.

And this, by it­self, means Mat­lama can­not af­ford to drop any more points if they are to win do­mes­tic foot­ball’s most pres­ti­gious prize — the league ti­tle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.