MASERU — Fireworks are expected this afternoon when Matlama host Lioli and Bantu face LCS in their respective Vodacom Soccer Spectacular quarter-final second legs.
All four sides in their own right can be considered favourites to win the M360 000 cup and their clashes this afternoon therefore are set to be spectacular.
At Setsoto Stadium mortal rivals Matlama and Lioli will clash with Tse Putsoa leading 1-0 from the first leg.
The advantage is certainly with Matlama.
Recent meetings between the sides have been low-scoring affairs.
Pali Tšalong’s second half winner in the first leg in Teyateyaneng was the first goal in 225 minutes of action between the two sides.
Last season Matlama and Lioli’s league clashes both ended goalless.
This afternoon Tse Putsoa welcome back Likuena internationals Nkau Lerotholi, Thapelo Mokhehle, Tšoanelo Koetle, Pali Tšalong and Dlomo Monapathi from national duty, while Thabo Masualle, Motlalepula Mofolo and Mohau Kuenane return for Tse Nala.
In Mafeteng, there will be another tense, hard-fought affair as Independence Cup champions Bantu host league champions LCS.
At 0 – 0 the tie is still in any side’s favour. Having kept Masheshena at bay at the LCS Stadium, A Matšo Matebele have home advantage this afternoon.
However, their failure to score an away goal has also left Bantu in a dangerous position. The last time the sides met in Mafeteng, a league meeting in April, the game ended 1-1.
A similar result, or any scoring draw, would mean visiting LCS progress to the semi-finals on the away goals rule.
However, on the other hand, Bantu are unbeaten against LCS in Mafeteng and will look to a 4 – 0 home thumping of Masheshena in the league in December 2009 for confidence.
Ever since the arrival of Ntebele Taole as coach, Bantu who have oozed class by their slick football will be matched by LCS, making for an intriguing encounter where the first goal could count for a lot.
It is the third time Bantu and LCS will be meeting in just over a month.
The sides met in an entertaining Independence Cup final last month, and having claimed the last two major trophies on offer in local football, they are the form sides in Lesotho.
Today’s Vodacom Soccer Spectacular fixtures
Matlama vs Lioli (Setsoto Stadium, 3pm)
Bantu vs LCS (Bantu Stadium, Mafeteng, 3pm)
Semi-finals – November 26
Matlama or Lioli vs LDF
Bantu or LCS vs Maduma