Gi­ants in de­ci­sive Top8 clashes

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Three LNIG Top8 quar­ter­fi­nal MATCHES will BE DE­CIDED this week­END, with Ldf-ver­sus-mat­lama AND LI­OLI AGAINST LCS THE pick of THE po­ten­tially thrilling SEC­OND-LEG fix­tures of THE PRE­MIER LEAGUE’S Crunch knock­out tour­na­ment.

LDF AND MAT­LAMA FACE-OFF At RATJo­mose Bar­racks Ground on Satur­DAY, WHILE Tse Nala Host MASHESH­ENA At Set­soto STA­DIUM on THE same DAY.

On Sun­day, Likhopo travel to Hlotse For A DATE with LINARE, WHILE THE QOAL­ING HIGH­LANDERS AND Bantu TIE HAS BEEN post­poned DUE to THE lat­ter’s AFRICAN Cham­pi­ons LEAGUE Com­mit­ment.

How­ever, Bantu Ap­pear THE only team GUAR­AN­TEED PAS­SAGE to THE semi-fi­nal of THE Com­pe­ti­tion AF­TER BEAT­ING HIGH­LANDERS 8-0 In THE first LEG of THE quar­ter­fi­nal CLASH.

On THE other HAND, MAT­LAMA Carry A 2-1 AD­VAN­TAGE From THE first LEG TIE played At Pitso Ground THREE weeks AGO, AND would HAVE to DIG DEEP to stop An LDF SIDE whose Form Con­tin­ues to Im­prove with EACH pass­ing week .

For­mer CAP­TAIN Nkau Lerotholi — BACK At MAT­LAMA AF­TER A short spell with Garankuwa UNITED In THE South AFRICAN first Di­vi­sion — Ex­pects A tough Battle From THE Army SIDE, But BE­LIEVES they CAN PRO­CEED to THE semis At THE Ex­pense of THE Army SIDE.

Lerotholi played HIS first MATCH For MAT­LAMA last WEEK­END SINCE HIS re­turn From Garankuwa, AND says HE was Happy with HIS Form DE­SPITE THE MATCH AGAINST Likhopo END­ING In A1-1 Draw.

“It’s Good to BE BACK AND play­ing AGAIN. I HAVE BEEN RE­CEIVED very warmly At THE Club AND Hope­fully, I CAN Con­trib­ute to THE team’s quest For Honours this sea­son,” Lerotholi SAID.

“WE ARE A very strong squad At THE mo­ment AND I think we will Do very well GO­ING For­ward, start­ing with THE WEEK­END MATCH AGAINST LDF.”

LI­OLI AT­TACK­ING mid­fielder, Jerry KAMELE, Also Ex­pects fire­works AGAINST LCS AF­TER THE two teams played to A Goal­less Draw In THE first LEG of THEIR quar­ter­fi­nal CLASH AND Also Drew 1-1 In A LEAGUE MATCH last

“It Is Al­ways Good to Con­trib­ute to THE team’s CAUSE with Goals Es­pe­Cially when you ARE Just re­turn­ing From An In­jury lay­off. I’m Happy to BE HELP­ING THE team GET Im­por­tant points,” KAMELE SAID.

“I think In­juries HAVE played A part In our slow start In THE NEW YEAR, But I think we ARE GET­TING BACK to our Best.”

KAMELE In­sists THE De­par­ture of star-striker, Tšepo Se­tu­ru­mane, Could not BE THE rea­son BE­HIND THE team’s sud­den r loss of Form. LI­OLI HAVE strug­gled For Goals SINCE THE Hit­man left For po­lice train­ing Dur­ing THE FES­TIVE sea­son.

“WE still HAVE A BIG team of qual­Ity play­ers AND Just HAVE to Con­tinue work­ing HARD.

“AND like I SAID, In­juries to key play­ers HAVE BEEN THE main rea­son why THE team HAS strug­gled In re­cent weeks, AND not Tšepo’s AB­SENCE.”

MEAN­WHILE, LCS HAVE BEEN BoostED By THE re­turn of vet­eran MID­fielder, Ralekoti MOKHAHLANE, who HAD BEEN slapped with In­def­i­nite sus­pen­sion For IN­DIS­CI­PLINE By THE Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (LEFA) RE­GARD­ING THE na­tional team.

MOKHAHLANE HAD BEEN on THE SIDE­LINES SINCE OC­TO­BER last year DUE to LEFA’S sus­pen­sion, AND only re­turned to Ac­tion last WEEK­END.

MOKHAHLANE, An In­flu­en­tial fig­ure At LCS, Is EX­PECTED to play A LEAD­ING role For HIS team In Satur­day’s TIE.

MEAN­WHILE, LINARE AND Likhopo square-off on Sun­day In Hlotse AF­TER set­tling For A 1-1 Draw In THE first LEG of THE Top8 quar­ter­fi­nal MATCH.


As­sis­tant COACH PAPIKI KHAHLOE Is Cur­rently In CHARGE As man­age­ment look For Ntene’s re­place­ment.

LNIG Top8 quar­ter­fi­nal 2nd leg

fix­tures Satur­day: LDF v MAT­LAMA (RATJO­mose Bar­racks Ground); LI­OLI v LCS (Set­soto STA­DIUM).

Sun­day: LINARE v Likhopo (Hlotse).

Linare mid­fielder Tumelo Ngatane (left) holds off Likhopo mid­fielder Bokang Mothoana in an LNIG Top 8 match played at LCS Ground last week.

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