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Giants clash in Super Sunday

 

LCS host Mphatlalatsane while LDF battle Bantu in potential Premiership thrillers

Moorosi Tsiane and Mikia Kalati

LCS will be hoping to add salt to the wounds of struggling Mphatlalatsane when the two sides meet in a Vodacom Premier League tie scheduled for LCS Ground this afternoon.

Masheshena, as LCS are affectionately known, come into the match sitting on sixth position on the 14-team table, while Mphatlalatsane are 10th.

Following two consecutive losses—3-0 and 2-0 versus Lioli and Sundawana respectively—Mphatlalatsane would be desperate for a change of fortune in today’s tie.

However, LCS have also been struggling for form but were buoyed by a goalless draw against log-leaders LDF last weekend. According to coach Katiso Mojakhomo, his charges should find the rhythm that has made Masheshena the respected brand it is today.

“This is a very important match for us, which we have to win to remain contenders for the league title,” Mojakhomo told the Sunday Express on Friday.

“We started this season quite well, but my players lost focus and started losing composure inside the box, thereby failing to put away clear chances.”

Mojakhomo has, however, warned beating Mphatlalatsane would not be that easy, despite the team’s apparent struggles.

“Mphatlalatsane are a very defensive team and have a very good coach, so beating them will not be easy as they give us a torrid time each time we face them. But we had very good practice sessions this week and hopefully, our finishing will not let us down come Sunday,” said Mojakhomo.

On the other hand, Mphatlalatsane coach, Tšepo Hlojeng, said losing against LCS today would not be acceptable.

“We have not been playing well of late and our biggest challenge is that our players are scattered all over so it’s almost impossible for them to train together. However, we are doing everything possible to ensure we overcome our obstacles,” Hlojeng said.

The former national team captain further said playing away from home would make the job that much harder for his team.

“This is going to be a very tough match. LCS are a big team and it is not going to be easy to beat them in their own backyard, but we are not prepared to settle for anything less than three points,” said Hlojeng.

“A win will be very important to the team because it will help us move away from the relegation zone. That is why I have said losing is not an option for us against LCS.”

Meanwhile, in another Premier League match scheduled for today, defending champions Bantu host table-topping LDF at Seeiso Leshoboro Stadium.

Bantu coach Motlatsi Shale has challenged his charges to restore their pride when they face the army side following last Sunday’s humiliating 1-0 loss to basement side Nyenye Rovers in Maputsoe.

“We all know that LDF are a very solid side and have been doing very well this season hence their position at the top of the Premier League log, while we are in third position (with 20 and 18 points after nine and 10 matches respectively). However, it is important that we get back to winning ways as soon as possible after failing to do so in our two previous league matches,” said Shale.

“It’s my responsibility, as a coach, to help the team get back to their best again despite the challenge we have. At the moment, my squad is very thin due to the unavailability of some key players because of injuries, but those we have must dig deeper to come up with results again.

“We need to be consistent going forward if we are to defend our league title.”

On his part, LDF coach, Malefetsane Pheko, believes his team will give Bantu  a run for their money this afternoon and leave Mafeteng with all the three points on offer.

“I’m not happy with our recent results, particularly the 3-0 loss to Lioli,” Pheko said.

“You are never happy to lose as a coach, and despite poor officiating against Lioli, I think our team was also having a bad day.

“However, against LCS in our last match, we were just unlucky not to have won as I feel we gave a good account of ourselves in the second half of the match, which however, ended in a draw.

“We have been working on rectifying our mistakes especially in attack, where our finishing was very poor against Lioli. We must also work on our concentration which cost us the three points against Lioli.”

The LDF mentor insisted his side was in good physical shape to hand A Matšo Matebele their second successive defeat following last Sunday’s loss to Nyenye.

 

 

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