Econet Premier League pace setters Matlama eased to a 2-0 victory over Halemakale Mahlaha’s Likhopo in the Maseru derby, enhancing their chances of being the Premier League champions for a recorded 10th time on Saturday at Setsoto stadium.
Tse Putsoa’s win reaffirmed their position and place in the summit of the League table having collected 50 points with 5 games remaining.
The Thabile Secker’s outfit sent a message to Likhopo early on in the match clinching the first goal in the 2nd minute.
Motebang Sera made good of a counter attack when Likhopo’s defence was caught napping.
The deadly striker kept his cool and push in to the 18 yard area before unleashing a strike into the net closer to the near post, and it was too late for Likhopo’s keeper, Ntebe Majoro.
The highly experienced Matlama side was too hot to handle for The Red Devils as it was a mission to contain Matlama’s players.
Likhopo’s position was mostly lost in the midfield as the maestro Bushy Moletsane together with Kefuoe Mahula and Phafa Tšosane didn’t give Santi Ntšohi and Morapeli Lekhotso a chance to get back to the game.
The Red devils had a glimmer of hope for a goal when Sefali’s shot from outside the box went over the bar in the 25th minute of the first half.
Sera went from goal scorer to provider assisting Jane Thabantšo who then gave Matlama a second goal in the 33rd minute when he headed home a cross from the left wing.
An upright came to Likhopo’s rescue just before the break to deny Tse Putsoa’s a 3rd goal after an unmarked Sera took a shot from inside the penalty area and it bounced off the woodwork.
Towards the end of the first half, Matlama suffered a blow when Makume Theletsane was stretchered off due to a hamstring injury and he was replaced by Moteloa Khemisi.
The second half started out slowly but Matlama continued to threaten Likhopo’s chances of finishing in the top 8.
A few clear cut chances were created but no goals scored from both sides.
Matlama coach Secker told Newsday Sport that he was happy with the result and that this cements their place on the summit of the league.
“My boys played well, especially in the first half. You could tell that they were hungry for a win. I’m happy and the mission continues,” said Secker.
Meanwhile Likhopo coach Halemakale Mahlaha was not happy with the fact that Matlama took 6 points from his team in this season, but acknowledged that his boys played to their best and it was just not their day.
“They took six points from me this season,” Mahlaha said.
In other matches on Sunday, Linare won 1-0 against Swallows at Ratjomose Ground. The battle to avoid relegation got harder for Galaxy as they went down 1-0 to Liphakoe.