Matlama, Kick4Life seek redemption
MATLAMA and Kick4Life will both be looking for redemption when they go head-to-head in the Econet Premier League at LCS Ground on Saturday.
Matlama heads into the match on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Bantu, to end the league leaders’ unbeaten run in the second round while Kick4Life were stunned 1-0 by Likhopo on the same day.
Matlama captain Mabuti Potloane admitted that losing to Bantu was disappointing but said they must pick themselves up from the setback and continue fighting.
“We have to go back to the drawing board and try to bounce back against Kick4Life at the weekend,” Potloane said.
“The race is still wide open and we have to do all we can to make life difficult for Bantu and LCS.
“We have to pick up the pieces and show that we are mentally strong as much as we have made life difficult for ourselves to bring LCS closer to us.”
The veteran Tse Putsoa midfielder said any team, either Bantu or LCS, can still drop points as they are yet to face each other in the second round as well as other top league teams such as Lioli.
“The two teams are yet to play against each other in the second round while they will each still face other big teams like Lioli, so anything can still happen in the race.
“We have to take every game as it comes. The focus in now on the match with Kick4Life and must go there and fight for the three points to remain in the hunt for the title.
“We are still confident that we can still win the league. Yes, losing to Bantu was disappointing but the spirit is still high in our camp and we will fight to the end.
“We have discussed where we got it wrong as a team and how we have to bounce back. We gave our best on the day but they were lucky to score a goal and take all the three points. Life goes on,” he said.
Kick4Life coach Bob Mafoso said it is important for his team to bounce back but said they will have to dig deep to get the three points against an on-song Matlama side.
“For every coach, when you lose a match you immediately want to bounce back in your next match and fix the mistakes that you have made.
“Playing Matlama makes the assignment even more difficult since they have been at the top not by chance but because they have done well.
“But we are taking it one game at a time although this will surely not be an easy game. We have to fight and get something out of it,” Mafoso said.
The Kick4Life mentor conceded that his side has not been as consistent as they were in the last matches of the first round where at one stage, it won all its six games.
Mafoso said his youthful side is still work in progress and inexperience and fatigue have worked against the squad and ended up dropping points against Galaxy and Likhopo.
“Looking at our team following the changes that were made, you will realise that it’s made up of youngsters who have the potential and are also talented.
“Their biggest challenge is lack of consistency. They should handle excitement better and also know that the league is a marathon.
“They need to know how to maintain playing well and working harder to be at the top of their game, but we know that it comes with maturity.
“We should also play our part as the technical team to help the players. Last December we played several games in a very short of time and we have now lost most of our key players to injuries while our best players are not performing well because they are tired.
“An example is that of Bonang Mohapi who played all the games for the national under-20 team at the COSAFA Cup and came back to feature in every match for his club. So, you can see that the form is dropping and it not helped by the fact that we do not have a big squad.
“But this phase of the second round is not easy. It’s all about working hard to try and improve, so hopefully we will get past this stage soon,” Mafoso said.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Galaxy host Swallows in a relegation dogfight set for Maputsoe DIFA Ground while Majantja hope to move away from the danger zone against inconsistent Likhopo in Mohale’s Hoek.
Sefotha-fotha take on LMPS in the battle of the police teams at PTC Ground.
On Sunday, in form defending champion, Bantu will be looking to continue with their impressive run against Linare at Setsoto Stadium while Lioli welcome Liphakoe in Teyateyaneng.
LDF host LCS in a potentially explosive encounter at Ratjomose Barracks also on Sunday.
Econet Premier League fixture
Galaxy v Swallows
Majantja v Likhopo
Kick4Life v Matlama
Sefotha-fotha v LMPS
Bantu v Linare
Lioli v Liphakoe
LDF v LCS