All roads lead to Set­soto

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

ALL roads will be lead­ing to Set­soto sta­dium this week­end as the coun­try’s four big guns battle for the LNIG Top8 M100 000 first prize.

Of course, all eyes will be on Bantu to see if they can de­fend their ti­tle as they go into Satur­day’s semi­fi­nal against LCS on the back of a very tough sea­son.

A Matšo Mate­bele are un­der their third coach this sea­son hav­ing al­ready fired Katiso Mo­jakhomo and Mot­latsi Shale.

Yet de­spite all the trou­bles of this cam­paign, the Mafeteng­based side still man­aged to win a tro­phy in the form of the In­de­pen­dence Cup in Novem­ber last year.

That time, they were un­der care­taker coach Caswell Moru, who is now as­sis­tant to head­coach Bafo­keng Mo­hapi.

Com­ing into Satur­day’s match, I think what makes it even more in­ter­est­ing is the two teams faced each other this past week­end with Bantu win­ning the league en­counter 2-0.

Not many gave Bantu a chance to win the match as con­vinc­ingly as they did based on the fact that LCS have been the bet­ter of the two teams this sea­son and also among the three sides fight­ing for the league ti­tle.

Bantu are fifth on the 14-team premier league ta­ble, and have been very poor by their lofty stan­dards.

But af­ter out­play­ing LCS last week­end, they sud­denly look one of the teams to beat for the league ti­tle hence Satur­day’s tie has gen­er­ated so much in­ter­est among the fans.

Yet the up­com­ing match is a dif­fer­ent ball-game al­to­gether as Cup matches are very fickle by na­ture.

If Bantu are to beat LCS again, their play­ers must come to the party once again and per­form the way they did last Sun- day where Litšepe Marabe and La­zola Tjoko­jokoane net­ted the two goals.

Satur­day’s other semi­fi­nal will see Li­oli go head-to-head against LDF, also at Set­soto Sta­dium.

Tse Nala have been go­ing through tor­rid times in re­cent weeks dur­ing which they lost their five-point ad­van­tage at the top of the Vo­da­com Premier League stand­ings.

The TY out­fit are now only top of the ta­ble be­cause of a bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence to sec­ond-placed Mat­lama.

Both gi­ants now have 46 points in the bag with six matches to go be­fore the end of the race.

Li­oli dropped two vi­tal points last Sun­day when they al­lowed Likhopo to come back from 2-0 and force a 2-2 draw, while Mat­lama beat Mphat­lalat­sane 1-0 the pre­vi­ous day.

Li­oli will pin their hopes on skill­ful for­ward Tumelo Khut­lang, although he is car­ry­ing an in­jury suf­fered in Likuena’s 2-1 win over Sey­chelles last week.

On his day, Makhopo can clinch the match with his in­di­vid­ual bril­liance like he did for the na­tional team against the Sey­chelles when he grabbed the win­ning goal. how­ever, his at­ti­tude re­mains his big­gest chal­lenge and could see him fail­ing to re­alise his full po­ten­tial.

LDF have had their own demons this sea­son and are now fight­ing to fin­ish the cam­paign among the best eight teams in the league so they could play in the Top8 com­pe­ti­tion again next year.

The best I saw of LDF this sea­son was when they knocked Mat­lama out of this com­pe­ti­tion in the quar­ter­fi­nals last month but this also shows they have enough qual­ity to get a re­sult against any­one.

With the win­ners of the semis meet­ing in the fi­nal on Sun­day, fans will surely have a fan­tas­tic week­end.

May the best team win!

Bantu striker La­zola Tjoko­jokoane (left) fights for the ball with LCS de­fender Mo­jalefa Ram­abusa in a league match played at LCS Ground last week­end.

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