Sports

Matlama lift VPL Premiership trophy

Chris Theko

Matlama, Tse Putsoa, closed off their Vodacom Premier League (VPL) 2020/21 season in an ecstatic mood when they stunned Bantu with a 3-1 victory on Sunday at the Maputsoe DiFA Ground to be officially crowned this season’s premiership champions. 

Tse Putsoa clinched the title with four games to spare almost a fortnight ago for their record 11th Lesotho Premier League title.

Long serving forward, Jane Thabantšo netted a brace to finish the campaign as the side’s top marksman having netted a total of 14 goals while Khotso Molelengoana scored the other goal to hand the new champions a 3-1 victory over Bantu, who were on a quest to defend their hounours throughout the season.

Matlama head coach Molebatsi Mothobi expressed his excitement over their victory and thanked the supporters whom he said were relentless in their support for his side.  

“We are happy and grateful to the sponsors Vodacom Lesotho, the season was not an easy one as we all saw the challenges brought by Covid-19 threatening our football but we still managed. The support from the fans has been amazing throughout the season and we highly appreciate that, their singing and dancing kept us going and we are grateful to them, we are champions today because of their support,” he said.

Thabantšo who wore the captain’s armband for the day, said he was proud of his side’s exploits this season. 

“I am happy for our achievements as Matlama, the supporters, the management and staff it was not an easy journey but we are grateful to have made it to today and winning the trophy,” he remarked after the game.

Matlama finished the campaign with 72 points, 10 points clear of second-placed Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), who had come back into the second round of the contest very ruthless especially with their fire-force marshalled by Katleho Makateng.

The army side maintained their impressive run with a 3-0 victory over Liphakoe as Makateng continued with his goal-scoring run, netting a brace to take his tally to 20 goals and winning the top goal-scorer title.

In other affairs, LCS, beat Kick4Life 3-0 on Saturday to secure their spot among the top four teams in the league, thanks to a brace from Ntaitsane and a goal from Hlomelang Lebina. LCS ended the campaign in third position on 52 points.

Bantu, who were the defending champions, finished the season in fourth spot following a 1-3 loss at the hands of Matlama on the last day of the season.

A Matšo Matebele have had a disastrous season after parting ways with Coach Bob Mafoso early in the season and replacing him with Thabo Tsutsulupa, who was fired after only four matches in charge.

Former league champions, Lioli also had a difficult season, which saw them miss out on a place among the top four teams to end the campaign in fifth position. Tse Nala beat already relegated Likhopo 2-1 in their last game of the season on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Kick4Life’s loss to LCS saw them end their presence in the top flight league with a loss. This after the team announced a fortnight ago that they will no longer be part of the premier league going forward. 

On the other hand, there was celebrations for the likes of Linare, Lijabatho and LMPS, who were all able to finish the campaign among the top 8 teams in the league.

At the bottom of the table, former Premier League champions, Likhopo lost their topflight status and will have to prepare for life in the A Division alongside Sefothafotha, who have also been relegated.

The Red Army, who have a rich history in Lesotho football having helped to kickstart careers of the likes of Bokang ‘Lefty’ Mothoana, Tefo Maipato, Ralekoti Mokhahlane, Katleho Moleko, Tlali Maile and many more, have been playing Premier League football for the last 20 years.

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