Matlama vow to bounce back

Matlama vow to bounce back

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Matlama say they intend to “bounce back” when they face Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) in a potentially epic Vodacom Premier League clash on Sunday at LCS Ground.

‘Tse Putsoa’ are reeling after an agonising 1-0 defeat to Lioli in the Independence Cup final on Sunday.

The loss means Matlama still haven’t won a trophy since 2010 which makes this weekend’s date with LCS all the more crucial as ‘Tse Putsoa’ seek to keep pace in a tight Vodacom Premier League race.

The record ten-time champions are the only remaining unbeaten side in the league but are yet to convince.

Moses Maliehe’s charges lie fifth in the standings with 12 points from six games but do have a game in hand on the sides above them.

Speaking on Tuesday, Matlama communication and marketing manager Tankiso Moletsane admitted the mood in the ‘Tse Putsoa’ camp was gloomy after Sunday’s Independence Cup final defeat.

He said the club plans to rope in a psychologist this week to help the squad forget the heart-breaking loss to Lioli and re-focus on the job at hand.

“After the game on Sunday the boys were not well at all so much so that we had to take them to one place just so they can be together,” Moletsane told thepost.

“On Friday I think they will be with a professional to talk to them before the game against ‘Masheshena’.”

A devastated Matlama squad were given Monday off and only started light training on Tuesday. Even so, Moletsane vowed ‘Tse Putsoa’ will bounce back at the expense of LCS.

Matlama beat ‘Masheshena’ 1-0 last Saturday in the Independence Cup semi-finals thanks to a Jane Thaba-Ntšo strike and boast a good recent record against LCS.

The Pitso Ground club are unbeaten in the sides’ last four league meetings, winning twice. The last time Matlama tasted defeat against LCS in the league was on April 12, 2014.

Matlama are also buoyed by LCS’s recent dip in form.

‘Masheshena’ are eighth in the Vodacom Premier League and haven’t claimed a win since a 3-1 victory over Sky Battalion on September 17.

“We are hurt but we are looking to bounce back against LCS on Sunday and to put last weekend’s defeat behind us,” Moletsane asserted.

Elsewhere this weekend, fourth-placed Bantu will host traditional rivals Linare in Mafeteng at Leshoboro Stadium on Saturday. ‘A Matšo Matebele’ are three points behind league leaders Kick4Life but have a game in hand. Their opponents are in 11th place and in turmoil after the resignation of Motlatsi Shale as coach a fortnight ago.

‘A Matšo Matebele’ were not in action this past weekend but the club’s communication and marketing manager, Motlatsi Mofokeng, said the James Madidilane coached side kept fit and are raring to face Linare.

“I wouldn’t say we have not been doing anything because on Saturday we played friendly match with Kick4Life and we are ready for Linare. I feel sorry for them and it’s a pity they have to face us while they are going through all of this but we also have work to do. We also need three points, we are aiming to win,” he said.

Mofokeng revealed three players are doubtful for the clash against Linare and will undergo fitness tests before Saturday.

The trio in question is Moloisane Ramasimong, Thabiso Mohapi and Khotso Molelengoane.

Weekend’s Fixtures

Saturday

Bantu vs. Linare (Leshoboro Stadium)

Sundawana vs. Likhopo (Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)

Butha-Buthe Warriors vs. Sky Battalion (TBC)

Sunday

Rovers vs. Lioli (Roma)

LMPS vs. LDF (PTC)

LCS vs. Matlama (LCS)

Liphakoe vs. Kick4Life (Quthing)

Vodacom Premier League log

P W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Kick4Life 7 5 1 1 17 7 10 16
2 Lioli 7 4 2 1 8 2 6 14
3 LMPS 7 4 2 1 7 3 4 14
4 Bantu 6 4 1 1 10 3 7 13
5 Matlama 6 3 3 0 6 3 3 12
6 Sky Battalion 7 4 0 3 7 8 -1 12
7 Liphakoe 7 3 2 2 8 8 0 11
8 LCS 7 2 4 1 8 6 2 10
9 LDF 7 2 4 1 5 4 1 10
10 Sundawana 7 1 3 3 6 9 -3 6
11 Linare 7 1 2 4 9 10 -1 5
12 Likhopo 7 1 1 5 3 8 -5 4
13 Rovers 7 0 2 5 4 14 -10 2
14 Butha-Buthe Warriors 7 0 1 6 4 17 -13 1

 

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