By: T’soloane Mohlomi
The Lesotho Correctional Services Football Club (LCS) on Sunday defeated Manonyane Football Club by a single goal to nil in a highly contested match at the LCS grounds.
The competitive affair was marked by subtle rainfall which presented cooler conditions which enabled a fast paced high tempo match between the two rivals.
Decked in their traditional green and white kit and with a home ground advantage LCS “also known as Masheshena” looked to dominate possession as they networked a string of passes along the length of the field. It was Manonyane however who had an opportunity to score just 5 minutes into the game when they shot wide meters away from the LCS goal.
Manonyane also looked to reciprocate by applying pressure on LCS when they forced a save out of the LCS keeper 20 minutes on, but it was LCS who converted the first goal of the match after substitute Keketso Snyders tapped in a sublime volley 39 minutes into the first half just before the stroke of half time.
The score line was 1-0 going into the break in favour of Masheshena. In the second half the two teams seemed to have a go at each other with LCS and Manonyane failing to convert both their chances upon creating near miss chances on both ends.
Although the rain had by now subsided the cloudy weather persisted and the slippery lush green LCS field provided a flowing passing game for both team’s performance however became more lackluster and lethargic as they both struggled for possession and resorted to a ping pong game which clearly wasn’t benefiting either side.
It was in the last ten minutes of the game when balance was restored in the match and displays of enterprising football could be seen as Manonyane FC looked to level matters and LCS on the other side tried to increase the tally. With more explosive football leading to the 90th minute LCS successfully defended a surge from Manonyane to ensure they retain the lead and secure all three points.
In the Vodacom Premier League standings Matlama FC retain poll position with39 points after an emphatic 3 -0 win over Ace Maseru FC on the same day, while LCS sits on 5th place with 28 and Manonyane on 14th position respectfully with 14 points.
In a post-match interview the losing Manonyane FC coach conceded that although his team struggled a lot in the first half with LCS having more possession and making most of the game, he was proud because his team came back a far better side in the second half as they got back into the game, saying that they were just unlucky not to get the equalizer and struggled to dominate LCS in some areas of the match.
“I’m still proud of this team although the first half eluded us, however we did come back in the second half to play the type of enterprising football that we’ve been trying to build in this team. I can’t really put blame on the weather although it did “impact us a lot getting back into the match as my players were slipping, rain can create difficulty in a game especially if its unexpected, but looking forward I think we will have to brush up on our weak points so we can be a better team”, he said.
In addition the coach said one of their challenges was the large number of injuries endured by his team, but said having overcame those obstacles he was sure they would come out stronger.