MASERU — Lesotho’s most successful club, Matlama, have vowed to give His Majesty King Letsie III the best birthday present by beating South African giants Orlando Pirates in the King’s Cup challenge at Setsoto stadium.
The match has been organised as part of the Lesotho head of state’s 50th birthday celebrations.
Tse Putsoa, as Matlama are affectionately known, have promised fireworks after they succumbed to a 4-2 loss to Linare in last week’s King’s Cup soccer spectacular final.
Playmaker, Phafa Tšosane, told the Sunday Express that they are very motivated and will rise to the occasion against Pirates. “It is a big occasion for us as a club and it is important that we do well to make the country and our King proud,” Tšosane said.
The talented playmaker said the match will be a dress rehearsal for what people can expect from Matlama in the new season.
“We are getting stronger as a team and I feel we will be a team to beat in the new season,” he said.
Also expected to take a leading role against Pirates is returning attacking midfielder, Pali Tšalong, who rejoined his home team after a troubled season with Linare and Bantu.
The talented and free-scoring midfielder joined Linare in a big money transfer for the domestic league but did not last at the Hlotse-based team.
He then left and joined the star studded Bantu in a controversial move that also saw the player struggling to regain his former.
However, Tšalong showed glimpses of his talents in last week’s soccer spectacular matches where he was one of the outstanding players for Matlama.
Pirates’ public relations officer, Mickey Modisane, said it is an honour and privilege for his team to be participating in the celebrations of King Letsie III 50th birthday.
The 1995 Caf Champions’ League winners arrived in the country yesterday ahead of the tie with Matlama.
“We are very happy to be in Lesotho and taking part in a match that will be celebrating the birthday of such an important person,” Modisane said.
He said local fans should expect good football from Pirates who are preparing for the continental club competition fixture next weekend.
Pirates face Congo’s AC Leopards in the group stage of the Caf African Champions’ League.