A fight to the finish
The destiny of this year’sye r’s premier league title will be dec decidedded on Saturday with Lioli and Matlamam Matlama fifighting fighting for the champ championonship while there would be an equally fierce battle against relegation at the wrong end of the 14team table. Lioli go into the last ro roundund of the season top of the pile on 56 points, closely followed by Matlama on 55 points. LCS are third with 43 points which meanmeanss means they are out of the tiitle title raacce race but still need to winn win theirr their lastl last fixture to ensure a topp-four top-four finish which guuarannteees guarantees participation iin in thhe the Independence anda and LNNIG LNIG Top8 tournnamenntts. tournaments. Buut But thhee the situation app appearspears morem more periloussous for LiolliLioli as a losss loss agaainstagainst Linar are re at Setsoto etsooto stadi dium ium would ouldd hand Matlaamma Matlama thhe the title — that thatt is if Tse PutsoP Putsoaoa winn win their fififixtur fifi fixturere againsta against Kick44llifeKick4life at Pitso Grrouund. Ground. LiolliLioli hadh had a thhree-ppooint three-point advantagee tage goingg going innto into last weekend’s fixturrees fixtures buut but were held to a goallesss goalless draaww draw by Rovers which broughht brought Maattlamma Matlama back into the race racce following follloowinng their hard-fougght hard-fought 22-1 2-1 wiin win over LCS.
MKhowever, hoowwever, Lioli ccoach, coach, Mosholu shhoolu ‘ Shoes’ Mokhothu, Mmokhhothu, saysaysa there is iss no noo need to o paanic panic as he iss is confident deennt of off a win against Linare annd and a seeconnd second successive league championship.chammpionnsship “There is no needneeed tto to pannic panic because I feel we are stilllstill oon on thhe the safe side as we are a poiintt point ahhead ahead of Matlama with one onne mmattch match to go,” Mokhothu said. “We just need needd to win aagainst against Linare and finissh finish the job, which I am confident wew we can do oon on Saturday.” According to Mookkhothhu, Mokhothu, it would be painful for thhe the team to choke at the 11tth 11th hoourr hour annd and give away the title to Matlmamma. Matlama. “We did most ofo of the wworkk work in the first round becaussebecause we kkneww knew it was going to be tough in thhe the retuurn return fixtures,” Mokhothu said.s said. “Usually teams thaat that reppresent represent the country in the Cchammpions Champions League tend to go throuuggh through a slump at some point because oof of thattthat tough schedule. I was worriewed worried thee the same would happen to us after we took part in the continental championship, but I’m glad we managed to maintain our lead.
“Like I said, what is only left is for us to get the three points against Linare and retain our league title.”
OON On thete the otothere other hand,ad, hand, Matlamaataa Matlama coaccoach,, coach, Moses Maliehe, told the Lesotho Times he expects a tough match against Kick4Life coached by his former colleague, Leslie Notši.
The two coached the national under-20 side which qualified for the 2011 African Youth Championship. Notši was headcoach, with Maliehe deputizing him so they are familiar with each other’s pedigree and tactics, adding to the excitement of Saturday’s tie
“Kick4life have become very competitive but still, we have to win so that we capitalise again should Lioli fail to beat Linare,” Maliehe said.
“What I have told my players is that every match should be like a final to them because we need to finish the season with our heads high.
“I have been saying this ahead of previous matches that anything can still happen and for us, the obligation is to get the three points against Kick4life and see what happens to Lioli.”
Another exciting match set for Saturday is between LDF and Bantu who are both fighting for a top-eight finish.
Bantu are seventh on the log, while LDF occupy eighth position. But after losing their last two matches, Bantu go into the weekend match low on confidence and under pressure from their fans, while LDF would need a top-eight finish befitting their status as one of the giants of domestic football.
Also on Saturday, Rovers will be playing a do-or-die match against Liphakoe as they need a win to avoid relegation.
The university side are 12th and two points ahead of 13th placed Likila United, who will be playing basement side Mphatlalatsane in St Monica’s on the same day.
Meanwhile, the league winners are set to pocket M200 000, a trophy and gold medals while the runners-up take home M100 000.
Saturday’s full fixtures Matlama v Kick4life, Lioli v Linare, LDF v LMPS, Likhopo v Bantu, Liphakoe v Rovers, Likila v Mphatlalatsane, LCS v Sundawana.
Jerry Kamela. Tšoanelo Koetle.
Kefuoe Mahula Phafa Tšosane.