Matlama ma face old d foes in n final
PReMIeR league bitter rivals Matlama and Bantu will contest the LNIG Top8 final at Setsoto Stadium this afternoon in a repeat of last year’s Independence Cup semi-final in which Tse Putsoa came out tops following a penalty shootout.
Bantu were the first to book a place in the final after thrashing Likhopo 3-0, with striker Lazola Tjokotjokoane breaking the deadlock in the 17th minute before Nzenze Nkulu extended the lead in the 38th minute and Mokone Marabe completed the rout in the 85th minute.
Bantu coach, Motlatsi Shale, admitted that it is going to be a different ball game when they face Matlama in the final at 3pm today.
“We did very well against Likhopo and I must say I was a bit surprised that we beat them 3-0 because we played to a one-all draw about two weeks ago in a league match,” Shale said.
“Like I said, our ambition is to win this tournament because it has always eluded us.”
The Bantu mentor said he was very satisfied with the performance of his charges and expects a more improved performance against a Matlama team that always rises to occasions.
“If you recall, we lost to Matlama in the semi-final of the Independence Cup and we have to be better prepared to beat them,” Shale said.
“We have to be on top of our game to beat them because Matlama are a good side and their confidence is very high at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Matlama beat LCS 9-8 in a marathon penalty shootout after both sides had failed to find the back of the net in normal time.
However, Tse Putsoa dominated the match but squandered a lot of opportunities to win the tie in regulation time.
Matlama coach, Ntebele ‘Tata’ Taole, said he was very impressed with his team after eliminating a stubborn LCS in the semi-final match.
“We have not been doing well in the league and this is a chance for us to repay our supporters’ faith with a trophy,” Taole said.
“I’m very happy that the team has reached another final in a space of five months after losing the Independence trophy to Lioli in october last year.
“It was a lesson for us as it was very painful and we have to be well prepared for the final on Sunday.”
MatlaMa forward Jane thabantso (right) vies for the ball with his lCS counterpart Khethisa Masenyetsa in the LNIG Top8 semifinal at Setsoto Stadium yesterday.