WOUNDED Likhopo will be hoping to mete out their LNIG Top8 semifinal humiliation on Kick4Life in a Vodacom Premier League match to be played at Old Europa this afternoon.
The Red Army, as Likhopo are affectionately known, will make the short trip to the league rookies smarting from their 3-0 drubbing by Bantu in the LNIG Top8 semifinal before being pipped 2-1 by LCS for the losers’ finals at Setsoto Stadium last weekend.
Likhopo are in seventh place in the 14-team premier league table with 27 points while Kick4Life sit on the 11th spot after collecting 18 points in 20 matches.
In their last encounter, the two teams drew 2-2.
Speaking to the Sunday Express on Thursday, Likhopo manager Qamako Mahao said last weekend’s defeats were now water under the bridge but also served as a “wakeup call” for his side to improve.
He said the Kick4Life match was a must win for them, as they have to regain momentum after the morale sapping defeats.
“We lost last weekend but now we must focus on winning Sunday’s match,” Mahao said.
“Our performance this time around will have to drastically improve since we can’t allow what happened last weekend to happen again.”
He, however, conceded that beating Kick4Life at home would not be easy “as they are a good side” but said they are meeting the Red Army at a “wrong time” as they are fighting to finish the league campaign in a respectable position.
“We cannot underestimate them since last time we played to a two-all draw,” Mahao said.
“So we are aware that it is not going to be easy to beat them but they got us at the wrong time. We are number seven on the log and have to move from there so we finish the league in a more comfortable position.
“We are now at that part of the season where most teams struggle and Kick4Life is one of them, so with the experience in our team we stand a good chance of winning this tie.”
On his part, Kick4Life spokesperson Ramafahla Thamae said the team have used the one week break to prepare for the encounter and are in good shape.
He also said the win would be very crucial for the team as they have not been doing well in the second round of the season.
“We have not been playing well since the start of the second round in January, but our technical team used this one week break to address all our weaknesses so we come into the Sunday clash against Likhopo in good stead,” Ramafahla said.
“This is a very tough time for us because we have to fight to stay in the premier league, so we have to make sure that we win all our remaining six matches starting with this one.”
He said they will, however, take each match as it comes as they do not want to put players under any pressure.
“We are going to respect Likhopo but not aiming for anything less than three points when we meet on Sunday,” said Ramafahla.
Other premier league matches to be played today will see relegation-threatened Qoaling Highlanders facing off at home against Bantu at LCS while Nyenye Rovers will visit Likila United in Butha-Buthe.