Mat­lama face Likhopo test

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Mat­lama take on likhopo in a po­ten­tially thrilling Vo­da­com Premier league match set for LCS Ground on Satur­day.

Both Maseru sides would be hop­ing to atone for last week­end’s LNIG top8 heart­break in which they were knocked out of the com­pe­ti­tion’s quar­ter­fi­nals.

Mat­lama were beaten 1-0 by LDF in Sun­day’s re­verse fix­ture of the tour­na­ment, af­ter los­ing the first leg by the same score­line a fort­night ago. On the other hand, likhopo were beaten 1-0 by LCS on Sun­day af­ter go­ing down by the same score- line in the first leg of the tour­na­ment two weeks ago.

how­ever, Mat­lama coach Moses Maliehe says the LDF de­feat was now wa­ter un­der the bridge and his charges had since shifted fo­cus to the league cham­pi­onship.

Mat­lama go into Satur­day’s tie third on the 14-team premier­ship ta­ble be­hind pace­set­ters li­oli and se­cond-placed LCS.

But with likhopo fourth on the ta­ble, and three points be­hind Tse Put­soa who have ac­cu­mu­lated 33 points, the up­com­ing Maseru derby prom­ises thrills ga­lore and is a must-see for the fans.

“It was dis­ap­point­ing to lose that re­turn match against LDF,” Maliehe said.

“We did ev­ery­thing right in that tie, but I guess it was sim­ply not our day. We are back in train­ing for the match against likhopo which is an­other tough test for us.”

Maliehe in­sists Mat­lama are in with a good chance to win the league ti­tle, and can­not af­ford to lose points.

“The boys are fine and have put the top8 dis­ap­point­ment be­hind them be­cause it is im­por­tant to do well in the league race,” said Maliehe.

“We need to show char­ac­ter against likhopo and bounce back as soon as pos­si­ble.”

how­ever, likhopo striker, lehlomela Ram­a­bele, says the match against Mat­lama presents the Red army with a good op­por­tu­nity to close the 10-point gap be­tween them and log-lead­ers li­oli. li­oli are not in league ac­tion this week­end as they are in Bu­rundi for a do-or-die african Cham­pi­ons league pre­lim­i­nary round, se­cond leg match against Vi­tal’ô .

“Our fo­cus is on what’s ahead of us, and not the past so it is im­por­tant that we work hard to close the gap be­tween us and li­oli and end the league cam­paign on a re­spectable po­si­tion,” Ram­a­bele said.

In other league matches set for Satur­day, Kick­4life face Mphat­lalat­sane at home while Sun­dawana host lik­ila United in a ButhaButhe derby.

On Sun­day, linare host LDF in hlotse as Mot­latsi Shale eyes his first vic­tory since tak­ing over at Tse tala in Jan­uary.

the hlotse-based side played a goal­less draw in their last league match against Rovers while the LDF camp is high on con­fi­dence af­ter book­ing a place in the semi­fi­nals of the LNIG Top 8 tour­na­ment last week­end at the ex­pense of Mat­lama.

Bantu will be at home to Rovers in Mafeteng with liphakoe host­ing LMPS to wind up the week­end fix­tures.

Likhopo goal­keeper Fusi Ra­mon­neng dives for the ball as Mat­lama for­ward Mabuti Pot­loane chal­lenges him, in this file pic.

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