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Matlama, Linare clash

Sports Reporter MASERU — Linare and Matlama clash this afternoon knowing that nothing less than a win will do.

The match, a meeting of two traditional heavyweights, will be last game of what has been an intriguing first round of the Vodacom Premier League.

It will be played at Setsoto Stadium.

Both teams go into this afternoon’s encounter trying to establish some much needed consistency to their season.

Matlama have 15 points after 10 games this season while Tse Tala have 11 from the same number of games.

Matlama, recently crowned Vodacom Soccer Spectacular champions, are however in a slightly better state than their visitors from Leribe.

Tse Putsoa are now lying in fifth place after playing to an entertaining 1-1 draw with LCS on Wednesday night at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena.

The Maseru glamour boys have plenty to be positive about after showing character to come from behind, thanks to a wonder-goal by Motlalepula Chabeli, who scored a contender for goal of the season with a rasping shot from near the centre circle.

Matlama have been the busier of the two sides having played four games in the last two weeks.

However, Tse Putsoa are unbeaten in those four matches and in the form-table they are sixth having won three, drawn one and lost two of their last six matches.

Linare are sixth with two wins, a draw and three losses from the last three games.

Linare — national champions on three occasions, in 1973, 1979 and 1980 — are on a two-match losing streak.

Tse Tala lost two Leribe derbies last month against Mpharane Celtics and Joy, 3-1 and 3-2, respectively.

A win would lift Linare just behind their rivals and within touching distance of a top four place. Tse Tala finished last season in fourth place.

Meanwhile, Likhopo are set to receive a life-line from the Matekane Group of Companies (MGC).

Likhopo, champions in 2005 and 2006, have struggled financially and in December the club’s owner Bishop Molatoli said he was putting the side up for sale.

However, talks are at an advanced stage for MGC to become Likhopo’s main partner.

Likhopo’s financial woes have translated to the playing squad.

In the off-season a bunch of Likhopo stars were prized away from the side by the league’s big-spenders such as Bantu and LCS.

Likhopo are also currently without a coach after Motlatsi Shale joined Vodacom A-Division side Liphakoe and lie at the bottom of the Vodacom Premier League.

Molatoli is currently in charge on a caretaker basis.

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