Fireworks as Matlama take on Kick4Life

Fireworks as Matlama take on Kick4Life

MASERU – With a date in the Lesotho National Insurance Group Top 8 semi-finals beckoning, Kick4Life coach Leslie Notši says his side will attack Matlama in Sunday’s much-anticipated quarter-final decider.
Kick4Life head into the second leg at the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) Stadium holding a slender one goal advantage from the first leg two weeks in Maputsoe and the slim lead has sparked debate over how Kick4Life will approach Sunday’s crunch tie.

The first leg 1-0 win, after all, was the Old Europa side’s first-ever victory over Matlama.
Notši, however, is giving no thought to defending.
Kick4Life will go out to attack, he insisted on Monday.

“I think it is wise for us to play attacking football against Matlama because it will give us more options in terms of defending and also in terms of creating more goal-scoring chances,” Notši said.
“If we sit back, we will be creating a lot of challenges for ourselves so it is very important that we play an attacking game so that we can keep them in their own half so as to make sure they do not come at us.”

Notši’s bullishness is backed by Kick4Life’s recent uptick in front of goals. The Old Europa side has scored in every game bar one in 2018 and last Saturday reached a high point when they thrashed Sefotha-fotha 5-0 to record their biggest ever top-flight win.

Confidence is therefore unsurprisingly high at Kick4Life and the mood this week has been upbeat as Notši’s charges look to progress to the LNIG Top 8’s last four and possibly capture the first trophy in the club’s history. One crucial aspect of their first leg win over Matlama is Kick4Life didn’t concede an away goal meaning if they score once on Sunday it would force ‘Tse Putsoa’ to score three times to go through.

For Notši, however, it is even more crucial his players remain focused and not get carried away against a dangerous Matlama side.
“We are aware that (Matlama) still have a belief that they can also score or play well and win against us, but at the same time, I think we will have to play around in terms of how we manage them,” Notši said.

“We are not going to consider the first leg result, we are just going to tell ourselves that this is the beginning of the second half because we are playing one of the best teams that has a lot of talent,” he said.
In the blue corner is Matlama.

Winners of ten league championships and six Independence Cup crowns, ‘Tse Putsoa’ are Lesotho’s most successful club and the LNIG Top 8 is one trophy missing from their packed cabinet.
Their spirits heading into the weekend couldn’t be higher after a 4-1 demolition of rivals Lioli in the Econet Premier League last Saturday.

Nzenze Nkulu, Phafa Tšosane, Lebajoa Mosehlenyane and Mabuti Potloane all found the net that day for a Matlama side that showed their dazzling attacking potential.
And, after outfoxing Lioli counterpart Morena Ramorebodi last weekend, Matlama coach Mosito Matela said he is planning another masterpiece for Notši.
So, what is the plan? What kind of battle is Matela expecting?
“We are planning for Kick4Life because we are aware that they play direct football so we will have to find ways of penetrating through their defence,” he said.
“We do not need a good football match, we just need to score two goals,” Matela added.
“Most importantly, we will have to make sure that before 20 minutes we score a goal and get another before half time or just after half time. All we need is two goals.

Matlama also need their famously boisterous fans to give them an extra push to seal the comeback.
Who knows? Maybe a famous win on Sunday would be the first step towards ending an eight-year trophy drought that is now the longest in the club’s proud history.

Yes, Matlama haven’t won a trophy since capturing the league in 2010 and Matela must know he and his players will earn footballing immortality if they can be the ones to finally end the suffering.

Still, Matela insisted he can only think about winning the LNIG Top 8 if Matlama navigate past Sunday’s epic date with Notši’s side.
First ‘Tse Putsoa’ have to get past a Kick4Life outfit brimming with experienced Lesotho internationals.
“It is hard to say we are going to win the tournament or not because we are just playing the second leg (of the quarterfinals) but after this game I can tell if we are going to win (the tournament) or not,” Matela said.

“Kick4Life is well equipped with good, experienced players like Thabo (Masualle), Lefty (Bokang Mothoana), Likano (Teele) and Ralekoti (Mokhahlane) and a good coach as well. We respect Kick4Life because they managed to beat us (in the first leg) but as Matlama we are confident we are going to win the match.” Whatever happens, expect fireworks on Sunday at LCS between two teams with plenty of confidence and plenty to gain.

Nkheli Liphoto

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