Independence football fiesta
LCS Ground tomorrow plays host to a Vodacom Premier League double-header featuring in-form Likhopo against inconsistent Bantu, as well as LCS versus struggling Likila United.
The football carnival could not have come at a better time as it coincides with Lesotho’s 50th independence celebrations.
Likhopo are in fine form and lie second on the 14-team table with 11 points — two behind log-leaders and defending champions Lioli.
On the other hand, Bantu wade into Friday’s tie under a caretaker technical team following Monday’s dismissal of head-coach Katiso Mojakhomo.
A Matšo Matebele sacked Mojakhomo for the team’s poor start to the season, and go into tomorrow’s match occupying sixth position on the log.
Likhopo coach Shalane Lehohla, who is enjoying a good run since his appointment to the post in August, says confidence is very high in camp and expects yet another impressive show from his charges.
“Well, I cannot give away our secret to the success we are currently enjoying, but what I can tell you is I have allowed the players the freedom to play according to their strengths as most of them are quite young and still learning the ropes,” Lehohla said on Tuesday.
“For me, it is how you work with people that will give good results at the end of the day and I think playing to their strengths has really helped us be where we are today.”
The former Likuena midfielder, who has also coached youth teams at LCS, told the Lesotho Times his young squad can give the big guns a good fight on their day.
“This is the first time I am having this responsibility of heading the technical team of a premier league club and I will not put myself under pressure.
“But like any coach, my wish is to go all the way and win the league title,” said Lehohla.
“I’m still learning and we will take it one game at a time. We have a good mix of young and experienced players and I’m happy with how things have gone for us so far.
“We will continue working hard and our approach against Bantu on Friday will be the same — working hard and respecting our opponents.”
After a goalless draw against Liphakoe on Sunday which led to Mojakhomo’s dismissal, Bantu caretaker coach Caswell Moru is hoping the team finds its rhythm once again.
Moru is holding the Bantu fort alongside Mosito Matela as management looks for a substantive coach for the 2013/14 league champions.
“We are in charge as caretaker-coaches and the first step is to look at where it went wrong for the team in previous matches,” Moru said.
“However, the plan is not to make a lot of changes but bring the stability that seemed to be missing in those matches, as well as new methods to turn the team’s fortunes around.”
Moru, who is the club’s technical director, insists A Matšo Matebele still have a good squad capable of challenging for honours.
“It is a matter of helping the players regain their confidence, and I believe results will then follow,” he added.
Meanwhile, in other premiership matches scheduled for tomorrow, LDF host Matlama at Ratjomose Ground.
The two teams are the most successful in domestic football, with Matlama boasting nine league titles while LDF have won the championship eight times.
However, the army side head into Friday’s encounter looking for their first win of the season, while Tse Putsoa have been victorious three times, drawn once and lost one match so far this campaign.
Tomorrow’s other match sees log-leaders Lioli host Mphatlalatsane at Setsoto Stadium, while on Saturday, LMPS play Rovers at PTC Ground, Sundawana face Liphakoe in Maputsoe and Linare take on Kick4life in Hlotse.
Weekend fixtures at a glance Friday: Likhopo v Bantu (LCS Ground3pm), LCS v Likila United (LCS Ground1pm), LDF v Matlama (Ratjomose Ground), Lioli v Mphatlalatsane (Setsoto Stadium).
Saturday: LMPS v Rovers (PTC), Sundawana v Liphakoe (Maputsoe), Linare v Kick4life (Hlotse).