Bantu, Matlama in titanic clash


Mikia Kalati

BANTU and Matlama will tomorrow clash at Setsoto Stadium in an encounter that could decide the destination of the Econet Premier League title.

Tse Putsoa head into the match at the top of the table with 56 points and a win over Bantu will see them clinch the title with two games to spare.

Bantu on the other hand must beat Matlama to reduce the gap between the two teams to just two points heading into the final two games of the 2018/19 season.

Tse Putsoa are looking to end their 10-year drought a league title while Bantu are aiming to make it three in a row.

Bantu coach James Madidilane told this publication that nothing but a win against Tse Putsoa will keep their titles hopes alive going into the last two matches.

“It is important for us to win this match against Matlama and we need to cut their lead to just two points going into the last two matches,” Madidilane said.

“If we draw or lose, it will be all over for us. We want it to go right to the end.”

The Free State born coach expressed concern over some of his injured senior players but said they could still be ready by tomorrow.

“Our preparations have gone well so far apart from a few injuries although the players might be ready by Saturday (tomorrow) because our doctor is keeping an eye on them,” Madidilane said refusing to divulge their names.

The former Bloemfontein Celtic defender said none of the two sides will carry an advantage going into Saturday’s clash despite the fact that Bantu won the first round encounter between the two clubs.

“I don’t think we have an advantage; instead, I think its crucial that we prepare enough to win the match. We are playing one of our biggest rivals and a team sitting at the top of the log table. They have worked so hard and to beat them, we must prepare well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tse Putsoa coach Thabile Secker has bemoaned the absence of their top striker and the Econet Premier League top goal scorer Motebang Sera, who will be tying the knot on the day.

Sera is at the top of the league goal scoring charts with 17 goals and netted a brace in his last two matches.

“Of course it is a huge blow for us but I’m confident that the available players will do the job.

“The morale is very high and for most of the players in the squad, this is their first time experience coming so close to winning the league, so they want it badly.

“Their aim is beating Bantu on Saturday (tomorrow) to guarantee us the title with two matches to spare.

“Yes, the absence of our top goal scorer is going to affect the team because of his contribution but football is a team sport and we must sit down and plan it properly,” he said.

Secker, who is looking to lead Tse Putsoa to glory in his first season in charge of the club, conceded that Bantu are a tough side but this is the most important match of his life.

“Yes, they beat us in the first round but we need a win this time around. We need it more than they do based on the history of this team in the last 10 years,” he concluded.

The rest of the Premier League teams will not be in action this weekend to allow Bantu and Matlama to play their outstanding match that had to be postponed following A Matšo Matebele’s involvement in both the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup.

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