There were no surprises when the 2017/2018 season got underway last weekend, with defending champions Bantu registering victory in their league opener.
Bantu’s 4-0 win over Premier League rookies, Sefothafotha, on Saturday is without doubt a clear indication that the Mafeteng-based side are out to retain the league title at the end of the season.
What is convincing about Bantu’s victory is that it was not just the victory but the biggest triumph of the week in the Econet Premier League.
Despite other people saying they had an easy weekend against a team which was not as strong as theirs and without premier league experience, the fact is that the win in itself will go a long way to motivate Bantu players to continue putting up a good performance in the Premier League matches to come.
Apart from that, big teams like Bantu cannot afford to lose the first match of the league.
That is not the way to go in any tournament in the world. You must win your first match for you to build on your victory in the next fixtures.
In fact, this was the reason behind Bantu’s excellent performance in the 2016/2017 season. They started well like now and maintained their form going forward.
Lioli, for an example, lost their first match of the league last season and subsequently failed to defend their league title for the third time in a row, after winning it consecutively.
But in the previous two seasons when the same Lioli side won the league title back-to-back, they managed so after winning their first league matches.
I still remember that they started the championship quest against Sandawana FC in both seasons – 2014/2015 and 2015/2016.
This time again, Lioli started with a game against Sandawana last Sunday, which they won 2-0.
Even though Lioli’s victory over Sandawana was not a surprise as the latter always succumbed to the former champions either in a league or cup tie, like I have said, a win in any first tie is crucial.
The only surprise about last weekend fixtures was the 1-0 loss Matlama suffered against Liphakoe.
Not many football lovers were expecting Matlama to lose to Liphakoe. Not all.
But Liphakoe managed to beat the 10-time Lesotho Premier League champions away from home. The loss is ominous for a big team like Matlama, who still hold a record of winning the league title more than any other team in the country.
But again, I cannot say Liphakoe are a relatively small team. They have been in the Premier League before and, as a result, they have what it takes to beat any team in the competition.
All in all I am expecting the 2017/2018 football season to be more entertaining as the Lesotho Premier League welcomes back Econet as the new sponsors of the league.