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LCS, Bantu promise fireworks

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — Expect fireworks.
That is the message coming from LCS and Bantu ahead of their Vodacom Soccer Spectacular quarter-final clash at Matsieng’s Pitso Ground this afternoon.
Both teams are confident of progressing to the next stage of the competition.
The two sides are deadlocked at 0-0 going into the match, after the first leg played in Butha-Buthe three weeks ago.
It was a match dominated by LCS with Bantu seemingly content to avoid conceding an away goal.
With that mission accomplished they travel to Matsieng where LCS will be the hosting team.
Bantu ? who are trophy-less since winning the Independence Cup in 1997 ? know a single strike could be all-important because of the away-goals rule.
Any scoring-draw for Bantu will see them progress.
And after the first match  Bantu coach Bafokeng Mohapi is expecting another cagey affair.
“It will be a tactical and high-tempo game. Both teams won’t want to concede and it will be a close match,” Mohapi said.
Bantu face an opponent that have been up and down so far, this season.
LCS have cup-pedigree, having been the dominant side in local football over the past three years.
But Masheshena have not made a good start to the season and find themselves on ninth position in the Vodacom Premier League after losing their last match 0-1 to LMPS.
“I don’t know if they lost playing well or badly. If we score early, it might work against them or it might motivate them. It works both ways,” Mohapi said. “It is a Cup tie and that in itself is enough motivation. We know their defence will be on full alert,” Mohapi said.
But LCS, the defending champions, are not going to let their crown slip easily.
LCS are without a trophy since winning the Spectacular in October last year ? their longest drought in recent years.
“I think in Butha-Buthe, we saw how they played. We were the better team but the problem is we failed to score,” LCS captain Refiloe Potse told the Sunday Express.
But because of the less-than-convincing start to the season, there is the pressure of expectation and Potse admits it would be especially tough.
“They have an advantage in that any scoring-draw means they will take the game,” Potse said. “It will be tough. All players who played in the first leg are fine.”
If nothing separates the two sides penalties may come into play. And Bantu mentor Mohapi said his charges have been practising their spot kicks.
“Obviously, when you go into games like these, you have to practise these things,” Mohapi said.
“It is a must,” Mohapi said.
But confidence is riding high in the Bantu camp after their good start to the season, losing only once to Matlama in the league.
“We are confident anything is possible,” Mohapi said.
Meanwhile, in the day’s other Vodacom Spectacular quarter-final match at the same venue, Qalo play host to Matlama.
Matlama take a 3-0 advantage from the first leg and have all but secured passage into the semi-finals.

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