Sport

Bantu, Lioli in titanic clash

Moorosi Tsiane

BANTU’S title credentials will be put to test on Saturday when they play their bitter rivals Lioli in a do-or-die league encounter at Setsoto Stadium.

Apart from the title credentials, bragging rights will also be at stake as Lioli will be looking to make it a double over Bantu this season while they are also chasing for a top four finish.

Bantu go into the match seating in second position with 54 points, two points behind log leaders Matlama with just to matches to go.

A Matšo Matebele will be desperate to collect maximum points which will see them go on top of Matlama, who will be in action against Sefotha-fotha on Sunday.

While Bantu go into the match with their heads high after beating beat Matlama 2-1 last weekend, coach James Madidilane said the win counts for nothing.

“This is a different game where the previous performances don’t really count that much,” Madidilane said.

“More than anything, we will be fighting for our pride as Bantu. Lioli have already beaten us twice this year in the league and the Top 4, so we need to fight back. We have identified our mistakes from the previous matches and we will be a different side on Saturday,” Madidilane said.

The Bantu mentor said their target is not to unseat Matlama but to ensure that they end the season on a high.

“Our intention this season is to ensure that we finish on a high note. We are not focusing on Matlama now, we just have to win our remaining matches and see where that puts us.

“It is not going to be an easy match but we are aware and the boys are ready for the job. There is no pressure for us because we know that Matlama are ahead of us, ours is just to win our matches and forget about them,” Madidilane said.

Bantu will miss the services of defender Tsietsi Khooa who is out with an injury for the remainder of the season.

Lioli are fifth, two points behind LDF who are fourth.

Tse Nala coach Lehlohonolo Thotanyana said this will be a tough encounter where a lot will be at stake.

“Stakes are going to be high in this match and we know it is not going to be an easy one. It has always never been an easy one when the two sides meet.

“Bantu are chasing the league title and on the other hand we are also fighting to finish in the top four,” Thotanyana said.

He said the fact that Bantu haven’t beaten them this season is going to make things even more difficult.

“They come here motivated after beating Matlama in front of a fully packed Stadium last weekend and I know that they are capable of rising to the occasion. We have beaten them twice this season so you understand it is not going to be easy one,” he said.

Thotanyana said the match has also put his side under a lot of pressure but said they have worked very hard in preparation.

“We had two weeks to prepare for this match and we know the pressure that comes with it, so we have been hard at work preparing for the game and good results will be important for us because we also need to end the season in a dignified spot,” Thotanyana said.

In other league matches, the battle for the top four continues as fourth placed LDF host Kick4Life who are fourth, three points behind the army side.

LMPS will be hoping to cement their place in top eight as they welcome Majantja, who are also fighting for survival at PTC Ground.

On Sunday, LCS will face relegation threatened Galaxy at LCS Ground while relegation bound Swallows travel to Quthing to play Liphakoe.

Linare play Likhopo at DIFA Maputsoe while Matlama are in a must win game against Sefotha-fotha at Setsoto Stadium in the quest for their 10th title.

 

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