Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Mat­lama and likhopo will be fight­ing to re­main in the LNIG top8 tour­na­ment when they face LDF and LCS re­spec­tively this week­end.

LDF beat Mat­lama 1-0 in the tour­na­ment’s first leg quar­ter­fi­nal match two weeks ago, while likhopo lost by the same mar­gin to LCS, also a fort­night ago.

How­ever, the do-or-die re­turn fix­tures take place at Set­soto Sta­dium on Sun­day, and prom­ise fire­works as both Mat­lama and likhopo would be out to over­turn the first­leg deficits and re­main on course for the M100 000 win­ners’ prize.

Mat­lama coach, Moses Maliehe, be­lieves his charges have the pedi­gree to beat LDF in Sun­day’s fix­ture and make it into the next stage of the an­nual tour­na­ment.

Tse Put­soa showed char­ac­ter last week­end by com­ing from two goals down to force a 2-2 all draw against LMPS and Maliehe says the play­ers would need to show that kind of fight­ing spirit to pre­vail over the army side.

Maliehe also said the play­ers need to avoid un­nec­es­sary mis­takes if they are to pre­vail over the army out­fit.

“the team has been mak­ing un­nec­es­sary mis­takes which have cost us matches, and I be­lieve we should not have con­ceded those two goals against LMPS,” Maliehe said.

“the play­ers need to be dis­ci­plined and get the ba­sics right in or­der to win such matches.

“the fix­ture against LDF is a big one and we have to get the goals that can help us go to the semi­fi­nal stage.”

Mean­while, li­oli and Bantu will be con­fi­dent of book­ing places in the semi­fi­nal when they play Sun­dawana and lik­ila United on Satur­day, re­spec­tively.

Tse Nala beat Sun­dawana 4-1 in the first leg match played at Set­soto sta­dium while Matšo Mate­bele have a 3-0 ad­van­tage ahead

Aof Satur­day’s se­cond leg tie.

Bantu coach Bafo­keng Mo­hapi — the third man to take charge of the Mafeteng­based out­fit since the start of the 2015/16 sea­son — be­lieves his charges have a chance of mak­ing up for their unin­spir­ing league cam­paign by win­ning the LNIG top8 tro­phy.

“We con­tinue to work hard in an ef­fort to im­prove our poor league cam­paign be­cause it has been a tough jour­ney for us,” Mo­hapi said.

“We did very well to beat lik­ila 3-0 in the first leg of the top8, but we will not re­lax be­cause I know they are go­ing to come for the se­cond leg seek­ing re­venge.

“So in short, the fight is not over de­spite the com­fort­able lead we carry from the first leg.”

Mo­hapi said he was happy with the progress his team has made un­der his lead­er­ship. “I think there is a big dif­fer­ence now, com- pared to where the team was when I took over (last month). the level of con­fi­dence among the play­ers is much bet­ter as well as their fit­ness, which was wor­ry­ing when I came in.”

Bantu have won three times, drawn one match and lost once since Mo­hapi took over the reins.

“We just have to keep im­prov­ing and I’m con­fi­dent we will make it to the semi­fi­nals of the top8 this week­end.”

On the other hand, li­oli would be con­fi­dent of con­tin­u­ing their dom­i­nance over Sun­dawana af­ter emerg­ing vic­to­ri­ous on all the three oc­ca­sions they have faced-off this sea­son. LNIG TOP8 SE­COND LEG QUAR­TER­FI­NAL

FIX­TURES Satur­day: Sun­dawana v li­oli (Ma­put­soe DIFA Ground), Bantu v lik­ila (leshoboro Com­plex Ground). Sun­day: likhopo v LCS (LCS Ground), Mat­lama v LDF (LCS Ground).

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