Matlama face Linare test



Mikia Kalati

Matlama and Linare go head-to-head at Pitso Ground on Saturday in Lesotho’s oldest football rivalry that never fails to produce fireworks.

The two are also the only teams which have never been relegated from the country’s topflight league, which confirms their pedigree and lofty standing in the Lesotho game.

Tse Putsoa take to the pitch in high spirits following a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sundawana last Sunday, with coach Moses Maliehe telling the Lesotho Times that his charges were  determined to do well this season.

“I think we are a work-in-progress, but my boys showed character against a very good Sundawana side on Sunday,” Maliehe said.

“It is still a long way to go for us and we are working hard to get better with every game.”

Maliehe, who is also the national team coach, further said his charges would play every match like a Cup final.

“It was important for us to start the season well and I think my players are very keen to help the team succeed this season,” said Maliehe.

“It is a relatively young squad, but they have big hearts and are motivated to make a name for themselves.

“They are aware that they have a chance in the league title challenge, but must work hard in every match if they are to win it.”

Tse Putsoa are now four points behind log-leaders Lioli and can close the gap to three on Saturday as Tse Nala would only be in action on Sunday.

Linare, on the other hand, come into the weekend match after a 2-1 loss to LCS despite scoring first in that tie.

However, the club’s public relations officer, Refiloe Makhobotloane, said there were many positives to take from the LCS defeat. The match was also the first for new coach Motlatsi Shale.

“There were a lot of positives to be drawn out of that match against LCS, although we ended up losing the tie,” Makhobotloane said.

“The team played very well and were the better side for the better part of the game. They were only unlucky to concede a late goal, which ten cost us the match.

“I think our boys will give Matlama a run for their money on Saturday because we have had a chance to go back to training and work on our weaknesses.”

Makhobotloane further said matches against Matlama and Linare always produce fireworks and he expects the same entertainment this time around.

Tse Tala beat Matlama 3-2 in the first round match to had the nine-time league champions their first defeat in six matches. That was Linare’s first win of the season and came as a surprise to many in the soccer fraternity.

In another premiership tie set for Saturday, LCS host bottom-of-the-table LMPS at LCS Ground.

Masheshena have already collected their first three points of the second round of the season, thanks to a late goal from Mosiuoa Boseka which resulted in a 2-1 win over Linare last Sunday.

Saturday’s other match will see struggling Rovers hosting Sundawana at Machabeng Ground in Roma with both teams seeking their first wins in 2016 after suffering defeats against Kick4Life and Matlama, respectively, last weekend.

On Sunday, champions Lioli travel to Ratjomose Barracks to face LDF while Bantu will be away to struggling Mphatlatsane.

In Sunday’s other fixtures, Kick4Life visit Quthing to play Liphakoe while Likila United host Likhopo in Butha-Buthe.

Full fixtures

Saturday: LCS v LMPS, Rovers v Sundawana, Matlama v Linare.

Sunday: LDF v Lioli, Mphatlalatsane v Bantu, Liphakoe  v Kick4Life, Likila United v FC Likhopo.

No. Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Lioli 14 10 3 1 22 7 15 33
2 Matlama 14 9 2 3 19 12 7 29
3 LCS 14 7 5 2 12 6 6 26
4 Sandawana 14 7 3 4 15 13 2 24
5 Likhopo 14 6 5 3 20 11 9 23
6 Bantu 14 6 2 6 13 10 3 20
7 LDF 14 5 5 4 13 10 3 20
8 Kick4life 14 4 7 3 10 11 -1 19
9 Rovers 14 4 3 7 9 16 -7 15
10 Linare 14 4 2 8 17 20 -3 14
11 Liphakoe 14 2 6 6 11 16 -5 12
12 Likila United 14 3 3 8 12 21 -9 12
13 Mphatlalatsane 14 2 4 8 11 22 -11 10
14 LMPS 14 1 6 7 9 18 -9 9


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