Police XI right back, Letsweletse Leririma put in a commendable shift to see his team beat Gilport Lions 2ÔÇô1 in a beMOBILE Premiership game played at the Molepolole Sports Complex this past Sunday. Making his first full senior team league debut, the 18 year old made two crucial clearances before pitching in with an assist for Phenyo Molefe’s match winning goal to help Police XI take all the three points.
The game between the two sides started on a low, with neither side registering a goal in what was by and large an uneventful first half. Save for a save apiece, both teams’ keepers were peripheral figures in an underwhelming first half that ended in a zero all stalemate. However, the game improved after recess as both teams showed more intent. Police XI started the half on the front foot with Molefe’s shot hissing closely past the upright within just a minute of the restart. A minute later, Lions’ keeper Lesego Bosekeng had to be alert to tip out Tapiwa Gadibolae’s set piece and concede a corner. Lions’ on the other hand did not take matters lying down and nearly took the lead on the 63rd minute when Police XI keeper Bokamoso Moeba fluffed a routine catch, which the Lions’ players pounced on. Lerirma moved fast to save his keeper’s blushes with a commanding clearance header. Two minutes later, Moeba was again called to action, but this time he did well to comfortably save Lebogang Ditsile’s shot. Lions then missed another chance on the 71st minute as Kenanao Kgetholetsile missed from inside the box after being teed up by Chrispen Mbewe.
Police XI took the lead six minutes later courtesy of a well taken Kawashu Makai set piece. After the referee had awarded a set piece for a foul on Betsho Pius just about twelve yards from the goalposts, Makai fended off interests from his teammates and expertly placed the ball well beyond Bosekeng. Lions responded with an attack of their own in the 84th courtesy of Upoga Dekesha, who had replaced Kabelano Mooketsane just ten minutes earlier. Pouncing on a back pass by the Police XI defence, Dekesha dribbled past Moeba, but Leririma once again came to his keeper’s rescue with a timely intervention, kicking Dekesha’s goal bound attempt out for a corner. Police XI then extended their lead on the 87th minute, and Leririma was again heavily involved. After the referee had adjudged a foul on Makai, the youngster delivered a well weighed ball into the box, and Molefe dived to bury it past Bosekeng. Despite Kgetholetsile reducing the deficit with a well taken volley in referee’s added time, it was too little too late as Police XI held on to clinch all the three points.
Commenting on the match, Police XI coach Maxwell Moyo expressed happiness at his team’s fighting spirit against a strong Lions’ side.
“We are happy we collected three points from a difficult team. They (Lions) are a strong team with national team players in their ranks but we fought and we got them,” Moyo explained. Going forth, the Police XI gaffer said while log position is important, the aim is for his team to have accrued fifty points at the end of this season. For his part, Gilport Lions coach Paradzayi Mandivenga, lamented his team’s lack of finishing finesse. “Games are won by goals. Unfortunately, my team played and gave everything but the chances we missed really came back to haunt us,” the Lions’ coach opined. With his team just five points above relegation, Mandivenga said they will now have to put their heads down and work harder. “We now have to work a little harder to perfect our finishing. We will go back to the drawing boards and see what happens in our next game,” said Mandivenga.
Moeba, Katlego Masole, Otlaadisa Manyika, Kesolofetse Dikgakgamatso, Louis Minjale, Letlhogonolo Senwelo, Pius, Makai, Molefe, Leririma, Gadibolae
Bosekeng, Sekgabo Molebatsi, Bonang Monyatsi, Joseph Keitseng, Tumisang Sekanonyane, Kabo Rasuping, Mooketsane (Dekesha), Mbewe, Ditsele, Tendai Nyamadzawo (Thabang Kedisang), Kgetholetsile