Title race goes down to the wire

Title race goes down to the wire

Sports Reporter

Maseru

The Vodacom Premier League season is left with only four games before it wraps up and only two teams remain in the race to be crowned the 2015/2016 league champions.

Lioli and Matlama are joint top of the table and are only separated by goal difference, an area the reigning champions hold an eight-goal advantage on ‘Tse Putsoa’.
With the title race as close as this season this has got football fans attending games in numbers to watch their teams with the hopes that the opponents would slip; no doubt this is the best time in local football.

LIOLI

Lioli have the most experienced squad and perhaps the best quality players in the league.
They remain favourites to win the title and, being the defending champions, Lioli will not let their title slip away from them easily. Lioli have kept consistency in their team selection especially in defence where they have been rock solid throughout with Kopano Tseka, Bokang Sello, BasiaMakepe and Mafa Moremoholo all part of the Likuena squad.

‘TseNala’ clinched their first trophy of the season two weeks ago when they were crowned LNIG Top 8 champions after beating Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) in the final.
Lioli is formidable going forward with the likes of Nkoto Masoabi and Tumelo Khutlang. At one point, Lioli were leading the second placed Matlama by a whopping six points but their performance dropped after their CAF Champions League campaign where they were knocked out in the preliminary stages by Burundian outfit Vital’O in February.
A run of three draws in four games allowed Matlama back into the title race.
Lioli have got back to winning ways however, winning their last two games and appear determined to secure a league and cup double. On paper Lioli certainly seem to have an easier run of games with Matlama the only side in the top five on the champions’ remaining fixtures.
However, it will not be a walk in the park for ‘TseNala’ who are still to face a relegation threatened Linare side that will be looking save their premier league status.

Lioli remaining games

Home

Liolivs.Rovers (7th May)
Lioli vs. Linare (14th May)

Away

Kick4Life vs. Lioli (23rd April)
Matlama vs. Lioli (30th April)

MATLAMA

Matlama were expected to have a lukewarm season despite winning a tournament in pre-season. ‘TsePutsoa’ have been the model of inconsistency since winning the league in 2010 and this was coach Moses Maliehe’s first season in charge.
However, Maliehe has turned the tables for the country’s most successful club and, with a month to go in the season, Matlama are strong contenders for the league title.
TsePutsoa signed MabutiPotloane, their marquee signing from Linare, last year highlighting their title ambitions.

The playmaker was sidelined for almost six months while nursing an injury sustained while on national duty against Ethiopia last June, but his absence did not affect the club as they won majority of their games playing at home.
While the quality of their midfield is unquestionable, defence and goalkeeping department remain a concern for the club. It is quite disturbing that ‘Tse Putsoa’ have leaked 19 goals.
Going forward they have scored more goals than any other side in the premier league and the two leading goal scorers are Matlama players in Motebang Sera and Jane Thabants’o. Between them they have scored 21 of 37 goals the club has. It is hard to pin-point which player in the Matlama squad can bring the title to the Pitso Ground club because so many have put their bodies in the line for the team.

That has been the secret to Matlama’s success. However, no doubt Thaba-Ntšo, Potloane and Phafa Tšosane are the players ‘Tse Putsoa’ supporters are pinning their hopes on.

Matlama remaining games

Home

Matlama vs. Liphakoe (23rd April)
Matlama vs. Lioli (30th April)
Matlama vs. Kick4Life (14th May)

Away

LCS vs. Matlama (7th May)

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