A fight to the fin­ish

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

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.

PKs —

Jerry Kamela. Tšoanelo Koe­tle.

Ke­fuoe Mahula Phafa Tšosane.

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