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Sink or swim for Likhopo in Maseru derby

Moorosi Tsiane

STRUGGLING former premier league powerhouse, Likhopo, will be hoping for change of fortunes in the Maseru derby with the country’s most decorated club, Matlama, at Ratjomose Ground this afternoon.

Likhopo are currently 12th in the 13-team league having won only two, drawn four and lost nine of the 15 matches they have played so far this season.

Their two wins came in the first half of the season and they could not have asked for a tougher assignment than this afternoon’s clash with the Econet Premier League’s form team who come into the match on the back of last weekend’s demolition of winless, Sky Battalion.

Halemakale Mahlaha’s charges lost 0-2 to Majantja and the former Lioli gaffer is well aware of the herculean task that lies ahead of them in the form of Matlama.

“It is not going to be an easy for us because Matlama are a big team who have been in a great form,” Mahlaha said, adding, “We are already under pressure to change our fortunes in order to survive the axe”.

“We have to go into the match with an aim to win and nothing else.

“Matlama are already motivated but I also want to believe that playing a team that is threatened by relegation has its own threats that will make them cautious. And who knows, maybe we can capitalise on that.

“My team is made up of youngsters who are struggling to contain the pressure but we have being working hard on their psychological state because there are still many matches before the season ends and we can still fight to survive.”

Matlama coach, Mosito Matela, declared his charges’ readiness for battle while conceding that derbies were always tricky affairs.

“We are talking of a Maseru derby so you can just imagine that the bragging rights will be at stake and so it is not going to be an easy for us. But we are ready for them and the target is to collect maximum points.

“We are in a good position to challenge for the title but for now we are taking each match as it comes so that we don’t lose focus.

“Likhopo are fighting relegation and they will throw everything at us. The bottom teams are always the toughest to beat and this encounter will not be any different.”

In other matches today, Lioli are away to Majantja in Mohale’s Hoek while Kick4Lifewill make the short trip across town to face LCS at LCS Ground.


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