By Moorosi Tsiane
MAFETENG- Bantu are back at the summit of the 14-team Premier League after a storming performance at the Seeiso Leshoboro Sports Complex against Nyenye Rovers last Sunday.
A Matšo Matebele, as Bantu are affectionately known, put five unanswered goals past the hapless visitors, dislodging Lioli from pole position in the process.
The Mafeteng outfit had surrendered top spot to Lioli two weeks ago after their match against Mpharane Celtics was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch, but now lead the standings with 34 points from 14 games, while Tse Nala are on 32, but with one game in hand.
Head-coach Motlatsi Shale believes Bantu have what it takes to win the league championship this year, although he also concedes “anything can happen”, since there is still a long way to go before the curtain comes down on the season.
But with his charges unbeaten since the beginning of the season—winning 10 and drawing four of their league ties—Shale has every reason to be optimistic that Bantu could win their maiden Premier League title.
After leading Bantu to the Independence Cup in his first season in charge, winning the coveted league championship would be an admirable feat for the unassuming former FC Likhopo coach.
“I’m happy with our current performance,” Shale said soon after Sunday’s win, which had the fans purring in delight. “But the league race is still wide open and I cannot talk about the destiny of the championship at the moment. However, the aim is to win the title which we lost last season to our bitter enemies, Lioli, after losing form in the last matches of the campaign.”
But Shale is concerned Bantu would be inactive for the following two weekends.
“We are not playing this weekend because all Premier League matches have been cancelled to accommodate Lioli’s African Champions League match against Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto. The following weekend has been reserved for the semi-finals and final of the Top 8 tournament, which we are no longer a part of, so it means we will have two weeks without playing any competitive match, which is going to affect our players.
“In football, two weeks without playing competitively is too much, especially if it is mid-season like this. Hopefully, we can be able to arrange friendly matches during this period to keep the players in shape.”