Likhopo vow to up­set Li­oli

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Ti­tle-as­pi­rants li­oli host strug­gling likhopo in a po­ten­tially fiery Vodacom Premier League contest set for Set­soto sta­dium on Sun­day.

A win would see Li­oli close-in on bit­ter ri­vals Bantu, who now top the 14-team Premier League ta­ble on 21 points but have played three more games than Tse Nala who are in third po­si­tion on 19 points.

Likhopo, on the other hand, are on the wrong side of the ta­ble and have only won twice in nine matches this cam­paign and have a pal­try eight points to show for their sweat.

How­ever, likhopo as­sis­tant coach, Tšeliso Mo­folo, says the team is slowly get­ting back to their best and would leave Set­soto with max­i­mum points come Sun­day.

“This is a very im­por­tant match for us as we con­tinue to re­cover from a dis­ap­point­ing start to the cam­paign,” Mo­folo told the Le­sotho Times on Tues­day this week.

“Matches be­tween us and Li­oli have a rich his­tory and are al­ways full of pas­sion. But we need the points badly, and vic­tory on Sun­day will kick-start our re­vival be­cause we need to win all our re­main­ing matches of the first round of the league pro­gramme.”

Mo­folo noted the re­cent re­turn of star-player, Bokang ‘Lefty’ Mothoana, after a long in­jury lay­off has been a big boost as the play­maker is al­ready hav­ing a mas­sive im­pact.

Mothoana scored in the team’s last match against high­fly­ing rook­ies Kick­4life, with the match end­ing 2-2.

“The ab­sence of key play­ers had af­fected us very badly hence our early strug­gles, but their re­turn to fit­ness is work­ing won­ders al­ready,” said Mo­folo.

“We also ex­pect star-striker Thapelo Tale to be avail­able for the match as he is also back to full fit­ness.”

Tale has only fea­tured against Qoal­ing High­landers so far this sea­son, but is a dan­ger­ous player on his day, hence Mo­folo’s op­ti­mism fol­low­ing his re­cov­ery.

On the other hand, Li­oli coach, Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu, said he was fully aware of Likhopo’s threat.

“It’s one of those matches which has his­tory be­hind it and we must come up with a good plan to get max­i­mum points on Sun­day,” Mokhothu said.

“We all know that likhopo have not been play­ing well of late, but still, they are a very good team and we will have to be at our best to beat them.

“It’s a very im­por­tant game for us and we need the points like they do to keep pace with teams at the top of the ta­ble.”

Mean­while, also on Sun­day, LDF get an early chance to re­turn to win­ning ways when they host the league’s sur­prise pack­age, Lik­ila United.

The army side, who were the league’s early pace­set­ters, are win­less in their last three matches and need vic­tory badly to re­main in sec­ond po­si­tion after los­ing top spot to Bantu last week­end.

Another match set to pro­duce fire­works on Sun­day will be be­tween LCS and Linare at LCS Ground.

linare are 5th on the ta­ble while LCS oc­cupy 6th place. Tse Tala, as Linare are af­fec­tion­ately known, have been im­prov­ing since Freese Ntene was re­in­stated as head-coach last month and won their last three games, which moved them from the rel­e­ga­tion zone to the re­spectable end of the ta­ble.

Mashesh­ena, on the other hand, have been very in­con­sis­tent in re­cent weeks, but a win could put them back in the ti­tle race among the other big guns.

Week­end fix­tures at a glance

Satur­day: li­oli v likhopo, Mphat­lalat­sane v Bantu, LCS v Linare, LDF v Lik­ila.

Sun­day: Qoal­ing High­landers v Mat­lama, Sun­dawana v Kick­4Life, LMPS v Nyenye.

Likhopo striker Lehlomela Ram­a­bele

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