Thaba-Nt’so ruled out of LCS showdown

Thaba-Nt’so ruled out of LCS showdown

Tlalane Phahla

MASERU – Influential Matlama midfielder Jane Thaba-Ntšo is set to miss Sunday’s crucial Econet Premier League showdown against Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) at Setsoto Stadium after he picked up an injury.
The news is a major blow for the champions who trail Bantu by 12 points in the title race.

The Lesotho international is struggling with a muscle injury and won’t be available for Sunday’s game despite desperate efforts by Matlama’s medical team to get him ready.

Thaba-Ntšo missed Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) in the sides’ LNIG Top 8 quarterfinal first leg in Maputsoe.
‘Tse Putsoa’ had hoped the playmaker would return against LCS but his injury has taken longer than expected to heal.
Speaking ahead of the blockbuster match against LCS, Matlama head coach Charles Manda admitted it is difficult to prepare for games without his star man.

Manda said Thaba-Ntšo’s absence cost ‘Tse Putsoa’ dearly in Maputsoe as they struggled to break through a resolute LMPS side.
“Jane is still missing for us; I don’t think he will be available this weekend. We missed him in the cup game. He is an important player for us, he is scoring goals and we don’t have him,” the Malawian mentor lamented.

Despite Thaba-Ntšo’s absence, Manda insisted Sunday’s game against LCS presents his side an opportunity to bounce back and get back to winning ways.
The defending champions are 12 points behind log leaders Bantu with 12 games to go in the season.

Matlama’s inconsistent run of results in recent weeks has seen them fall further adrift and now ‘Tse Putsoa’ will need favours from other teams if they are to defend their title.
The champions will also have to guard against dropping more points because that could see them knocked out of the title race totally.
It is going to be a challenge.

After playing LCS, Matlama then take on leaders Bantu and face in-form Lifofane.
Manda said he is expecting a “very difficult game” against LCS because Mpitsa Marai’s charges are also fighting to stay in the league’s top four.
However, Manda said Matlama have been preparing themselves to collect all three points against LCS and come back with a win.

The last time Matlama and ‘Masheshena’ faced off they played to a goalless draw which left both teams frustrated.
This time around a draw could be a fatal blow for Matlama in the title race.

“Of course it is not going to be easy for us, we are coming from the loss in the cup but this is a league game so it is different, and we have to bounce back and get back to winning ways,” Manda said.
“We know LCS is not an easy team to play against but we have to go get three points and keep fighting.”

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