Matlama clinch LNIG Top8

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Mikia Kalati

MATLAMA coach, Mosito Matela, says ending his side’s eight-year trophy drought will go down as one of the moments he will cherish forever in his career.

Tse Putsoa beat Lioli and Bantu in the semi-final and final respectively to clinch the LNIG Top 8 trophy and M100 000 prize money.

Lioli and Bantu had developed a reputation as the new cup kings in the country, but Matela has re-ignited Tse Putsoa again.

The giants who are third on the Econet Premier League standings also stand a chance to make it a double if they remain consistent in their remaining seven matches.

Matlama have 36 points, while second placed Lioli have 37 points with eight games left and first placed, Bantu, still have nine matches left and have 38 points.

They also completed a double the last time they won a trophy winning the league and the now defunct Vodacom Spectacular Cup.

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Speaking about his side’s success, Matela, who won the same competition during his time with the Bantu technical team in 2015, said he was grateful to the Matlama management for believing in him.

“First of all, I think I should thank the management of Matlama for handing me the responsibilities to coach the team,” Matela said.

“It has not been an easy road, but I think the knowledge and experience that I have been able to gather since I became a coach has been very helpful.

“The technical team that I also work with at the club have been there for longer and also contributed to the success the team.”

The Tse Putsoa mentor said one of his targets after arriving at Matlama was to build a competitive side that works as a unit.

He admitted that there was still a long way for the team to become dominant force again.

“We still have a long way to go to start winning trophies again. I think unity has been vital as I am a father figure to some of the players.

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“We have become one big family and for me as a coach what is always important is that I know the strengths of the players and keep motivating them to reach their full potential,” he said.

He said having been at Matlama and winning trophies as player was another motivation to make sure that the club returns to its glory days under his mentorship.

The club’s team president, Ikarabele Sello, also praised Matela ending the eight-year drought after a challenging year for Tse Putsoa.

“We are excited that we have finally ended the drought. It’s a proud moment and we believe that since the coach has a history with the club, he understands the culture that we are a winning team and instilled that mentality into his players,” he said.

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Matlama also dominated the individual awards where Matela walked away with the Coach of the Tournament Award and Lebajoa Mosehlenyane took home the Player and Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament Awards. Monaheng Ramalefane bagged the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award.

Runners-up, Bantu, pocketed M80 000 while LCS and Lioli in third and fourth position got M60 000 and 50 000 respectively.

The four other teams that were eliminated in the quarterfinals each got M30 000.

The competition was sponsored by the Lesotho National Insurance Group.

Individuals awards

TOPGOALSCORER-Lebajoa Mosehlenyane – M3000

Goalkeeper of the Tournament- Monaheng Ramalefane – Matlama FC-M2000

Player of the Tournament-Lebajoa Mosehlenyane – Matlama FC – M3000

Coach of the Tournament-Mosito Matela – Matlama FC M2000

Referee of the Tournament-Lebalang Mokete – M1500

Assistant Ref. of the Tournament– Lesupi Puputla – M1500

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