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Matlama, LDF showdown today

Mikia Kalati

MASERU — Matlama will seek to pick up the three points on offer when they take on LDF in a Vodacom premier league tie at Pitso Ground this afternoon.
Matlama have lifted the league title a record nine times while LDF are in second place with eight league championships.
LCS are in third position having clinched six titles.
The tie between the two most successful clubs in the country has always produced fireworks as it did in the first round where LDF came from two goals down to force a two-all draw.
Tse Putsoa’s captain, Nkau Lerotholi, told the Sunday Express that they won’t blow the lead like they did in the first round match as his side desperately needs to win the match to finish the campaign in a respectable position.
“We have a team full of youngsters, the excitement and the stage of the match got the better of them in that first round match as we allowed LDF to come from behind to force a two-all draw in that match,” Lerotholi said.
“I’m very happy with the improvement in the team and the effort we are all giving to finish the campaign among the top four teams in the league.”
The Sea Point giants have played three draws and registered a single win since coming back from a three month suspension following a fall-out with football authorities earlier this year.
He said the win would be dedicated to their late legendary midfielder, Kelebone ‘Maria Maria’ who was laid to rest yesterday.
Lerotholi said the league’s schedule has been very tough as today’s tie against the army side will be their third match in a space of seven days.
Mokoena Mohale’s side played two successive one-all draws against LCS last Sunday and Linare on Wednesday in Hlotse.
“It’s a heavy schedule especially on our young players only in their first season of top flight football, but we just have to guide them and get the best out of their abilities,” said Lerotholi.
“The race for the top four places is still wide open and I’m hopeful we will continue with our promising run to finish among the top teams,” he said.
LDF veteran midfielder and assistant coach, Malefetsane Pheko, told this paper that his side seen as underdogs for the league title, is ready for the showdown with Matlama.
LDF who are third on the log trail both Bantu and Lioli by two points.
“We have been preparing well for this match, all our players are in good condition and we are just waiting for the match-day to arrive,” Pheko said.
“Our team remains the dark horses in the race for the championship. We are taking it a game at a time and will make use of any slip-up by the two teams ahead of us.”
The former Likuena midfielder said the pressure is on Bantu and Lioli who are in first and second position with 37 points.
“We are just two points behind the two teams and focused on winning our remaining league games,” said Pheko.
“The championship is at a very exciting stage and each of these three teams at the top of the table has a chance of being crowned champions at the end,” said Pheko.
Meanwhile, Qoaling Highlanders who are hoping to avoid the relegation playoffs at the end of the campaign are at home waiting to play Linare.
The Hlotse-based side has been on the rise in the second round of the campaign coming from a 2-0 win over Nyenye Rovers last Sunday and a one-all draw against Matlama in midweek.
LMPS and rejuvenated Likhopo will also lock horns at the Police Training College’s Ground as they also battle for a top four finish.
Today’s Vodacom premier league fixtures:
Qoaling Highlanders v Linare
Matlama v LDF
LMPS v Likhopo

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