MASERU — Former Lesotho champions Arsenal had to suffer promotion heartache once again when they were pipped to a Premier League berth by Mabeoana on the final day of the season.
Last year it was Bantu who put paid to the Gunner’s hopes of rebounding to the top-flight league after suffering relegation in 2008.
This time round Arsenal had led the Vodacom A-Division Southern Stream for almost the entire season but needless slip-ups in the run-in have cost them dearly.
On Sunday, Arsenal had to beat Sefothafotha to have any chance of gaining promotion but lost the match 2-0.
The result means Mabeoana have won the Southern Stream by six points after the Matsieng side beat Melele 1-0 in a replay on Saturday and then dismissed Mohale’s Hoek Young Stars by the same score-line on Sunday.
Mabeoana are now M12 750 richer, an improvement on last year’s winners’ purse of M5 000.
The winner of the Northern Stream will only be known by tomorrow when the A-Division management Committee is expected to announce the verdict in the case pitting promotion hopefuls Mpharane Celtics against Maduma.
The delay in the conclusion of the first division’s two streams has forced the postponement of the Vodacom A-Division Top 8 competition which is contested by the top four sides from each of the streams.
The quarterfinal stage of the tournament was due to be held this weekend in Teyateyaneng but it has been postponed until April 24.
“The Top 8 will be played on the 24th and 25th (April) and the final round of the tournament will take place on the 1st and 2nd of May,” Mosebe Motsoasele, the first division’s public relations officer, told the Lesotho Times this week.
“We will conduct the draw for the Top 8 during the halftime break of the match between Lesotho and Mozambique on the 18th (April).
“We would not have postponed the tournament but we have been forced to do so.”
Meanwhile, Melele have appealed against their 2-1 loss to Little Flowers on Sunday claiming their opponents used an unregistered player.
Melele’s loss meant they would be relegated to the B-Division.
Southern Stream results
Saturday: Melele 0-1 Mabeoana.
Sunday: Mohale’s Hoek 0-1 Mabeoana, Arsenal 0-2 Sefothafotha, Little Flowers 2-1 Melele.