Monday, June 24, 2024
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Matlama extends their premier league lead …as title challengers drop vital points


Chris Theko

A draw apiece to each of the nearest contenders ensured the comfort of Matlama at the summit of Vodacom Premier League (VPL) table following the past weekend’s results.

Both second-placed Bantu and third-placed Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) dropped two points each thus ensuring that the Maseru-city based team steers eight points and 10 points clear respectively after they on the other hand pocketed maximum points after thrashing Swallows FC by three goals to nil.

Now Matlama sits comfortably at the top with 47 points from 19 encounters having won 15 of those while playing to two draws and losing only twice.

After playing to a one-all draw with Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) on Sunday, Bantu sits next-in-line with 39 points from 18 games having won in 12 losing thrice and drawing in three encounters most of which are recent results.

Third-placed LDF on the other hand, was held to a two-all draw by underdogs Lioli who had, prior to the weekend’s encounter last tasted competitive VPL action last winter when all sporting activities ground to a halt at the back of the Covid-19-induced national lockdown. LDF has thus far managed to collect 37 points having won 11 of their 18 games three of which they lost and in the process drew four times.

Of the top-three teams, Bantu is the one least likely to make any menacing advances judging by their offing in the past five games none of which they won. In fact, the Mafeteng-based side who are also the defending champions, last tasted victory last year when sporting activity was stopped. In the most-recent games, the draw thrice and lost twice.

LDF on the other hand, recorded three wins, lost once and drew once in the last five encounters, while Matlama have been the most successful of the top-of-the-pack having been on a constant winning streak since last year.

Matlama have won all four of their last five games and only drew once over the weekend.

Bantu is the only team with no win among amongst the top five teams in the past five encounters, and the second with such a record within the top-10 with the other team as 10th placed Liphakoe which also played to three draws and two loses in the last five encounters.

To their credit though, the defending champions began their contest into the current season on an upward spiral which is what has saved them the embarrassment of a sharp decline in the midst of their current drop in form.

Were it not for that feat, log leaders Matlama and next challengers LDF would have far-advanced the Mafeteng side judging by the two sides’ menacing game in recent times.

The top-of-the-pack is still exciting with the five consecutive teams from position two to six all having points numbering in their 30s with 11 or 12 games to go before the wrap-up of the current season. Only Matlama is far advanced at 47 points with only 11 games to go, and already eight points clear of their next challengers.

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