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Matlama, Bantu tie kicks-off 2017 season


Mikia Kalati

THE much awaited clash between Bantu and Matlama will kick-off Vodacom Premier League (VPL) action on 7 January 2017.

The match between two of the country’s big guns was initially scheduled for November 2016, but failed to take place due to the unavailability of Setsoto Stadium.  It is the only outstanding tie of the VPL’s first round.

Meanwhile, the premier league also announced the second round fixtures this past week set to kick off on 14 January 2017.

The second round opening fixtures will see LCS host Linare at LCS Ground while Liphakoe will go head-to-head with Rovers in Quthing.

Bottom-of-the-table Butha Buthe Rovers will welcome Kick4Life in their bid to save their sinking ship.

The next day will be headlined by league leaders Bantu who will be at home to Rovers.

A Matšo Matebele had a strong finish to the second round by leapfrogging Lioli and Kick4Life to the top of the table ending 2016 in style.

Likhopo, on the other hand, had a disastrous campaign and find themselves second-from-bottom and will be fighting to retain their premier league status come the start of the second round.

The former league champions have only won once in 13 matches while having lost 10 times.

Another potentially explosive encounter is the tie featuring VPL defending champions Lioli and LDF at Setsoto stadium.

The army side have always been tough customers for Lioli and will once again be expected to get the best out of the most prolific side in the country over the last three seasons.

Matlama’s newly-appointed coach Seephephe “Mochine” Matete will hope to begin his tenure with his beloved Tse Putsoa with a win.

The country’s most successful side will take a short trip to PTC Ground to face LMPS who finished 2016 on a high thanks to a 2-1 victory over Kick4Life.

Matete recently took over the reins at Tse Putsoa replacing Moses Maliehe who quit the job after a string of poor results.

Highflying league rookies, Sky Battalion, who find themselves in fourth position in only their first year of top flight football, will open their second round campaign with a tricky away fixture to Sandawana.

The Thabile Secker-coached side have shocked a number of big guns in the 13 matches of the first round having taken three points from the likes of Matlama and Kick4Life.

They also managed to get a point from log leaders Bantu.

Saturday 14 January

LCS v Linare

Liphakoe v Rovers

BB Warriors v Kick4Life

Sunday 15 January

LMPS v Matlama

Lioli v LDF

Bantu v Likhopo

Sundawana v Sky Battalion

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