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Linare, LDF renew rivalry

Moorosi Tsiane

LINARE and LDF renew their rivalry this afternoon in an Econet Premier League tie at Ratjomose Ground.

It will be a meeting of former teammates as Linare’s Moses Ramafole and LDF’s Motheo Mohapi both played for Likuena in the early 2000s.

Under Ramafole, Linare has enjoyed a six-match unbeaten run, winning five and drawing one. They came into this weekend sitting third in the league table with 25 points.

On the other hand, LDF have struggled sit ninth in the table with 17 points. Both sides have played 15 games apiece.

The sides clash on the back of respective wins with Linare thrashing Likhopo 4-0 while LDF scrapped through a 3-2 win over Liphakoe.

Ramafole, who took over the reins from Freeze Ntene towards the end of last year, said they were taking one match at a time and were aware that the upcoming would be a tough encounter.

“We are taking one match at the time and I have told my players to forget about the past matches and focus on the coming fixtures,” Ramafole said.

“We have been hard at work preparing for this match and we are aware it is not going to be an easy one because LDF are a big team with a rich history.”

Mutapa, as Ramafole is affectionately known, said now that they have already secured a top eight spot, their target was a top four finish this season.

“I have been doing the numbers and from previous experience, if we win at least five of the upcoming matches, we will be in a good position to fight for the two remaining spots in the top four because it is clear now the first and second spots belong to Bantu and Matlama respectively,” he said.

Ramafole said the second round is always tougher because all teams would be fighting to improve themselves.

“LDF are in the bottom half of the table but surely, they want to improve. In fact, every team is fighting for something in the second round and that makes it difficult. We must double our efforts,” Ramafole said.

He said his players were ready except Lebajoa Mosehlenyane, who is out injured and Rethabile Selonyane who is also doubtful for the Sunday tie.

Mohapi also conceded that the second round was tough but said they would fight to finish in a respectable position.

“We have prepared well of the match because we know what to expect because Linare have been playing well and are motivated but we are ready. This is a tough period because teams will be pushing for different achievements so it’s not going to be an easy match,” Mohapi said.

Mohapi said his side is also working to improve their league position adding that they still had a good chance to finish in the top four.

“We must work hard because we also eying a top four finish and mathematically, we still have a chance. However, we must win our matches. We also want to win the LNIG Top8 first to defend our title. It’s not going to be easy but it’s doable,” Mohapi said.

He added that some of his players were nursing injuries of different magnitudes hence they would miss the weekend tie.

In other league matches today, Bantu host Matlama in a top of the table clash at Setsoto Stadium while LCS host LMPS at LCS Ground.

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