Bat­tle of the fittest

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

Fans are wait­ing with great an­tic­i­pa­tion for this week­end’s in­de­pen­dence tour­na­ment which brings to­gether four of the big­gest foot­ball teams in the Moun­tain King­dom.

there is no doubt the an­nual com­pe­ti­tion has be­come one of the most ex­cit­ing sport­ing events in the coun­try over re­cent years.

This year, the two-day com­pe­ti­tion sees Bantu tak­ing on LCS in Satur­day’s first semi­fi­nal set for Set­soto Sta­dium, while Li­oli and Mat­lama re­new their ri­valry later in the day at the same venue. The fi­nal and third-place play-off take place the fol­low­ing day also at Set­soto and one could not have asked for bet­ter ex­cite­ment than what this in­de­pen­dence or top-four com­pe­ti­tion is of­fer­ing.

The Li­oli/mat­lama tie could be dubbed a fi­nal be­fore the fi­nal as th­ese are two of the most suc­cess­ful teams in the coun­try, which have en­joyed great ri­valry over the sea­sons.

What makes the match even more ap­petis­ing is the fact that Mat­lama lost 11-12 on penal­ties to Li­oli in the fi­nal of last year’s edi­tion of the an­nual tour­na­ment, so it goes with­out say­ing that Tse Put­soa would be out to re­venge that painful de­feat.

Mat­lama are un­der a new coach this time around fol­low­ing their ap­point­ment of former Li­oli coach, Moses Maliehe, to the hot seat at the be­gin­ning of this sea­son. Maliehe was born in Berea, Li­oli’s home dis­trict, and played for both Mat­lama and Tse Nala, so it would be in­ter­est­ing to see how he con­ducts him­self in this match as both teams mean so much to him.

Again, this should be Maliehe’s last match in charge of Mat­lama fol­low­ing his ap­point­ment as na­tional team (Likuena) coach last month.

Maliehe has since brought mas­sive im­prove­ment to Tse Put­soa, and I’m sure he would want to make his­tory by lead­ing the Sea Point out­fit to the in­de­pen­dence ti­tle as he pre­pares for a new chal­lenge with Likuena.

On the other hand, Li­oli go into this tour­na­ment with their tails be­tween their legs af­ter a hum­bling 1-3 loss to Bantu in sun­day’s pre­mier league match at Set­soto Sta­dium.

the heavy de­feat came as a sur­prise to many as Tse Nala were un-

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