Maseru – May 04, 2022
Maseru city based side FC Likhopo became the other in a duo of those that will be competing in the lower ranks of national football after a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Lijabatho in Morija today.
Likhopo now joins fellow relegates Sefothafotha as the race in the Vodacom Premier League(VPL) winds to an intensified finish.
The zone-of-death was also laden with Swallows of Mazenod whose 1-3 loss to army side Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) away at the Ratjomose ground was not severe enough to sink to relegation following Likhopoâ€™s fate.
The hosts made good on their intent to cement a place in the top-4 teams while the visitors were looking to stay abreast of the relegation zone.
Swallowsâ€™ intentions were clear from the first whistle getting an early goal in the 24th minute courtesy of Mohau Khali and stayed in control of much of the first stanza of the maintaining an upper hand of possession.
However, current premier league top goal scorer, Katleho Makateng brought the home side back into the game when he levelled matters with a 32nd minute conversion, which shortly followed by another in the 43rd minute after an assist by TÅ¡epo Toloane.
The army side was pilling pressure on their guests as the match went to break with the hosts leading.
The second half started in the same pace with LDF looking the more menace of the two and likely to score more goals. And indeed their efforts were rewarded as yet again Makateng converted two more strikes with the other one disallowed for being offside, thus his hat-trick was completed placing him once again at the summit of the top goal-scorer list at 18 goals so far in the season.
However, his dreams of adding even more to his goal tally blackened out when he was fouled in the 58th minute forcing for him to be replaced by Kokoana Motlatsi.
Thereafter, not much action would follow with both sides seemingly taking a cautious approach.
LDF came into the clash sitting on second position with 56 points, 10 points behind champions Matlama at 66 points but knew they needed to win if they are to stay in that position with third-placed Bantu breathing down their neck just a point behind.
After todayâ€™s win, LDF is now at 59 points and still maintaining second position.
On the other hand, Swallows came into the tie looking to put it all on the field to survive relegation should 15th placed Likhopo win against Lijabatho which was not to be.
Likhopoâ€™s loss means Swallows have survived the chop with the former being relegated for the first time since 2000 when they came into the top flight league.
Earlier on at the LDF Ground, sixth placed LMPS stalled on-form Linare just a spot behind, while Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) defeated Lifofane 4-0 at home at the LCS Ground to cement hopes for a top-4 finish. LCS currently occupy fourth place in the 16 team table. In Maputsoe DiFA ground, Bantu thumped CCX 2-1 and Liphakoe was victorious over relegated Sefotha-fotha.