Matlama in record 11th premiership title
…nation’s most decorated team seals-off VPL with four games to go
The country’s most decorated topflight league team Matlama of Maseru added silverware to its trophy cabinet by clinching a record 11th premier league title with four games to go before the close of the 2020/2021 Vodacom Premier League contest.
This following a Sunday 1-4 loss by defending champions Bantu of Mafeteng seated in second position to Linare of Leribe.
Two weeks ago, Matlama needed only three points out of a possible 15 to clinch the title but that was halted due to a postponement of their game against Manaonyane on account of bad weather which resulted in unplayable pitch.
When it eventually got a chance to play, ‘Tse Putsoa’ as Matlama is affectionately known, was stunned with a 1-2 defeat by Lifofane on Wednesday last week.
But the wait was not to continue further this past weekend despite the side not being able to play again due to unplayable pitch, as Bantu’s loss was enough to cement its seat at the summit of the premier league and confirmed championship.
Defending champions, Bantu has played 27 games collecting only 52 points, which is a game more than the champions at 63 points.
Founded in 1932, Matlama won its first premier league title in 1969 and was hitherto standing neck-and-neck with army side Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) at 10 titles apiece.
In an interview with this publication, Matlama Communications and Marketing Manager, Tankiso Moletsane said it has been a long time coming for the team to achieve the milestone.
“We are happy as one of the biggest teams in the country to reach the feat although we would have loved to achieve it on the field, however, we cannot take away from the fact that we collected maximum points early on which is what helped us.
“The nice thing about collecting points early into the contest is that you get to take off the pressure when the league is winding down like now where we are left with four games to go yet we have already won the title
“Credit should be given to the entire team from the coach and his technical team, the staff and management but most importantly the supporters of the team who went through some of the toughest times yet were always there with the team,” Moletsane said.
With majority of the teams having played 27 games each, the league is almost at the finish line and Matlama’s remaining games which are basically a formality, to which it will enjoy the guard-of-honour, will be against Manonyane, away to Linare, a top-of-the-table clash with Bantu before playing away against Lioli as the last encounter.