Bumper LNIG quarter-finals this weekend

Bumper LNIG quarter-finals this weekend

Maseru – After a thrilling round of quarterfinal first leg ties which produced a total of 14 goals, the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 returns this weekend with four return legs that will determine the four semi-finalists for this year’s competition.

Only one tie appears to be done and dusted with reigning champions Lioli going into their second leg against struggling Likhopo leading 3-0.
The other three ties are wide open, however, as Lesotho’s top eight teams continue their quest for the LNIG Top 8’s M100 000 pot of gold.
Here is a look at this weekend’s decisive quarterfinal clashes.

Saturday
Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) vs. Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) (LCS Ground, 13:00)
The first leg between these two old rivals ended in a tense goalless draw at the Maputsoe DiFA Ground three weeks ago.
This time around, LCS and LDF will kick-off an LNIG Top 8 double header at LCS Grounds on Saturday.
LDF coach Motheo Mohapi has often complained about his team’s struggles in front of goals despite good displays and the trend continued in their last league game this past weekend as ‘Sohle-Sohle’ had to settle for a point against Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) even though they had ample goal-scoring chances.
LDF face a ‘Masheshena’ outfit that go into this game highly motivated after beating Matlama 2-0 in the league last Saturday.

First leg result: LDF 0-0 LCS
Second leg prediction: LCS 1-0 LDF

Kick4Life vs. Sundawana (LCS Ground, 15:00)
Sundawana’s new Spanish coach Antonio Gonzalez Flores has a mountain to climb with his first official game in charge coming against high-flying Kick4Life.
Kick4Life emerged victorious in an eight-goal thriller in the first leg and they are looking to finish off the sterling job they did in Maputsoe.
The Old Europa side’s ruthless front-line duo of Thabiso Brown and Thapelo Tale were on the score-sheet in their last outing and if ‘Tse Bo Yellow’ are to stop a super-charged Kick4Life side, they will have to come up with a more organised line of defence than they did three weeks ago when they let in five goals.
Kick4Life coach Leslie Notši doesn’t have many worries, on the other hand. He seems to have found an answer to his side’s goal-scoring problems by roping in Likuena striker Tale who has scored four goals in his first two games for the club.
First leg result: Kick4Life 5-3 Sundawana
Second leg prediction: Kick4Life 2-1 Sundawana

Sunday
Bantu vs. Matlama (Leshoboro Stadium, 15:00)
This is the biggest game of the weekend and ‘A Matšo Matebele’ rightly go into the clash as favourites.
Matlama’s inconsistent performances this season have seen them drop to a disappointing seventh position in the league and, as things stand, odds are against them claiming a top four finish.
‘Tse Putsoa’ have an even more daunting task ahead of them at the Leshoboro Stadium to overturn the score in their favour.
Bantu will be playing at home in Mafeteng where they are always tough to beat. In addition, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ are desperate for silverware after suffering through a barren 2016.

First leg result: Matlama 1-2 Bantu
Second leg prediction: Bantu 2-0 Matlama

Lioli vs. Likhopo (LCS Ground, 15:00)

This is a game in which many expect Lioli to claim a walkover against a struggling Likhopo side that is fighting relegation in the league.
With the quality ‘Tse Nala’ possess, there appears little Likhopo can do to stop the defending champions from advancing to the semi-finals.

First leg result: Likhopo 0-3 Lioli
Second leg prediction: Lioli 3-0 Likhopo

The LNIG Top 8 semi-finals are scheduled to take place at Setsoto Stadium in April and the winner between Matlama and Bantu will face either Lioli or Likhopo while the victor between LDF and LCS will meet Kick4Life or Sundawana.

Luciah Phahla

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