EIGHT Premier League clubs will be vying for the two semi-final spots of the MGC Soccer Spectacular in knock out matches at Setsoto Stadium on Saturday and Sunday.
The day begins with a clash between Econet Premier League leaders Matlama, who will take on Sefotha-fotha in the early kick-off while LCS will face Likhopo in the second match.
The winners of the two matches will face off later on the day and with the winner will book a place in the semi-finals of the competition set for Mantšonyana, Thaba-Tseka. All semi-finalists will each bag M100 000 in appearance fees.
On Sunday Bantu takes on LDF while Lioli go head-to head with Kick4Life. In the same way, the winners of the two matches will face-off later on the day to decide the other team that will play in the semi-finals, where they will be joined by two clubs from the lower divisions. The lower divisions teams will be decided through play-offs.
The soccer competition, along with the Cheletsane Half-Marathon will form part of Matekane Group of Companies’ (MGC) celebrations during the official opening of their Mantšonyane Project set for 15 April 2019. The Mantšonyane Project is the brainchild of MGC founder Sam Matekane where the company has built primary and secondary schools, sports facilities and a church for the community as part of its social corporate initiative (CSI).
Lioli coach Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu told the Lesotho Times that the tournament gives his team a chance to bounce back from a difficult week after they were eliminated from the LNIG Top8 by LCS last weekend.
Tse Nala will have to play the match without Kopano Tseka and Mafa Moremoholo, who will be on national duty in South Africa preparing for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cape Verde next weekend.
“It’s a chance for us to continue preparing ourselves and also giving game time to our players who have returned from injuries,” Mokhothu said.
“We will give the MGC tournament all the seriousness it deserves because there are some monetary rewards and it also gives us the opportunity to bounce back from the disappointment of being knocked out in the LNIG Top8.”
Meanwhile, LCS coach Mpitsa Marai, who will also miss the tournament duo to his commitments with the national team, said since his team has been struggling financially, the M100 000 appearance fee will be a big boost.
“The tournament is very important for me especially when there is that M100 000 appearance fee for clubs that will make it to the semi-finals.
“Our team has been struggling financially so the rewards that are being offered will be very helpful.
“It will also give us a chance to refresh our team as three of our players will be away with the national team. But it’s nothing new because some of them missed a lot of games due to injuries,” Marai said.
Assistant coaches Shalane Lehohla and Khoto Sesing will be in charge of the team in Marai’s absence.
Likhopo coach Halemakale Mahlaha told this publication that the MGC tournament gives his youthful squad a chance to get more exposure as most of them have never played in cup competitions in the elite league.
“It’s not really about results for us. I have a team that does not have a lot of experience and exposure, so this is an opportunity to play in a tournament that also has big rewards if you succeed.
“So, it’s a chance to give them exposure and to build on the good season that we have had so far. I will have to help the players not to get nervous so that they will be at their best as it will be their first time playing in cup competitions at this level,” Mahlaha said.
MGC Soccer Spectacular fixture
Matlama v Sefotha-fotha-9:30am
LCS v Likhopo-11:30am
Winner1 v winner2-16:00
Bantu v LDF -9:30am
Lioli v Kick4Life-11:30
Winner1 v winner2 -16:00