MASERU — Struggling Nyenye Rovers are confident of a positive result when they lock horns with Linare in Hlotse this afternoon. Rovers’ team manager, Hopolang Ntšeli, told the Sunday Express on Friday that their team which is rooted at the bottom of the Vodacom premier league log will take a step closer to survival against their Hlotse-based rivals Linare.
Two teams that will be at the wrong end of the log table at the end of the season will contest for their premier league status against the two runners-up of the two A Division streams. “We know that two teams that will be occupying the last two positions have a lifeline of playoffs at the end of the season, but we do not want to be involved because it is still not safe,” said.
“We remain hopeful of remaining in the elite league. “The spirit is very high in camp and the players believe in the coaching abilities of their coach Lebajoa Mphongoa,” he said. He sang praises of the retired former Likuena and Bloemfontein Celtic striker, Mphongoa, who guided the team back to the premier league at the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
“He is a marvellous coach, especially with young players like the ones we have here,” said Ntšeli.
“We have a good chance of winning our remaining games starting with today’s tie against Linare while the other matches are against Qoaling Highlanders and Mpharane Celtic also fighting for survival,” he said.
Nyenye Rovers are at the bottom of the table with 12 points after 17 matches while Mpharane Celtic are just one place above them with 14 points from 18 games. Matlama is in 10th position with 15 points and have played only 13 games with Qoaling Highlanders occupying ninth position with 17 points after 18 games.
Linare coach, Thulo “Magic Touch” Leboela, told this paper that his team is desperately in need of points and cannot afford any more slip-ups as the search for a top four finish heats up. “We are well aware that Nyenye is a good side and in need of points to avoid the chop, but at the same time to also secure a place among the top four teams,” Leboela said.
Leboela, who is a legend at the club, said his team is playing to regain their respect as one of the top sides in the country. “It’s very worrying that the team has failed to win trophies for more than two decades and a top four finish can help take that pain away. He said qualifying for the top four could also bring them close to some silverware after failing to lift trophies for years. Elsewhere, premier league giants Matlama and LCS go head-to-head in another match set for Pitso Ground in the afternoon.
Today’s Vodacom premier league fixtures:
Matlama vs LCS
Linare vs Nyenye
Joy vs Mpharane Celtic