All roads lead to Setsoto
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.