Sunday, June 23, 2024

Likwemba to fore as Letlapeng snatch victory from jaws of defeat

Relegation-haunted Letlapeng rose from the dead when they narrowly beat Extension Gunners 1-0 in a beMOBILE Premier League match which was played in Lobatse on Wednesday night. The man who rescued the Ramotswa minnows from the Lion’s den was Malawian midfielder Chikondi Likwemba with 10 minutes remaining from the final whistle. It was a goal which sent a handful of Letlapeng supporters into a frenzy. At the end of the game, excitement was written all over their faces. It was as if their side had just won the Premier League title in their maiden season.
But they could not be blamed as their last victory was recorded on November 30 last year when they beat BDF XI 1-0 at the same Lobatse Stadium. It was a result which saw the then BDF XI head coach Elijah Chikwanda being shown the door. It was Letlapeng’s third win of the campaign and it has given those close to the club some hope that they can survive the dreaded axe come the end of season. Letlapeng have only accumulated 12 points from 21 matches and they are only eight points away from safety. Against Gunners, Letlapeng showed a lot of confidence which has been missing for the most part of the season. Even in defence where they have been found wanting, they have shown great improvement.
Though new coach, Blessing Moyo, has been showered with lots of praises for the recent improvement, the soft-spoken coach warned that it is not yet time to blow their own trumpet. He said that there is a lot that needs to be done following their win over Gunners. “The game against Gunners is now water under the bridge. We need to focus on the upcoming game against Centre Chiefs (on March 8 at SSKB Stadium).

We’ve to take one game at a time and I believe that things will fall in place. We showed great character against Gunners and if we maintain the same performance, I’ve no doubt that we’ll continue to get the desired results,” said Moyo. In the two games that Moyo has been in charge, Letlapeng have seen their fortunes turn around, collecting four points out of the possible six. But he has warned his players not to get carried away by the results. “There is a lot of excitement in the camp and we (technical team) have a challenge of ensuring that these boys keep their feet firmly on the ground. There is need to remain disciplined especially that our next two games (against Chiefs and Township Rollers) are going to be more challenging considering the kind of opposition,” he said.
While the obituary has already been written, Moyo remains confident that they can still cause a few more surprises. Against Chiefs next weekend, Moyo knows that they will be up against a monster. “We’re a closed book to Chiefs and I want to believe it is to our advantage. We know what to expect from Chiefs and I’ve no doubt that we’ll give them a run for their money,” he warned. Letlapeng chairman Sydney Magagane could not hide his excitement after tasting their first win in three months. “This win was long overdue. If we could have long roped in the coach (Moyo), maybe we could be singing a different tune. In the remaining nine games, our plan is to pick as many points as possible. When the coach arrived here, he told us that it is possible to avoid the chop and I can now see the light down the tunnel. But that does not mean that we’re going to put him under pressure,” said Magagane. The boss pointed out that the good thing is that of the nine matches remaining, seven of their opponents are in the bottom half on the table.


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