Clash of the titans

Clash of the titans

Maseru – Attack, attack, and attack – that’s Bantu’s plan for rivals Lioli when the juggernauts clash in a potential Econet Premier League decider on Sunday at Setsoto Stadium. It is the match of the season and it is a match the football fraternity is anticipating with bated breath and many believe it is a potential title decider. The Mafeteng giants lead the Econet Premier League log with 45 points from 19 games while Lioli are in second place with 41 points.

Bantu head coach James Madidilane refused to be drawn to talk much but admitted that if his side win it will be impossible for the chasing pack to catch up with them. And despite the fact that a draw would probably do just fine for Bantu, Madidilane said they would attack. Madidilane insisted that his side has got no reason to be defensive on Sunday and that they will play their normal game and attack. “We are going there to attack, we are not going to sit at the back and defend, no,” he said. “I agree, in our last game against Kick4Life in the second half we sat deep a little bit because they were attacking and forcing us to defend, but the plan is not to defend.

We have to take the game to them and, of course, defend when we are not in position; (but) we have good attacking players we have no reason to defend,” he said. After missing out on a potential treble to Matlama in the Lesotho National Insurance Group Top, Madidilane said ‘A Matšo Matebele’ are not about to bottle the four-point lead they have in the Econet Premier League. Recent league head-to-head between Lioli and Bantu. “If we win the game our chances of winning the league will of course increase, we will be left with just few games to win,” he said.

“I can’t say it is a decider but yes the truth is if we win we will be in good position. Every time Bantu plays Lioli or Matlama nobody wants to lose so I think this time it will be about who needs it more.” Despite facing setbacks of having players being deregistered and being docked points, the defending champions have always looked like a team that will not go down without a fight and their fighting spirit, winning mentality and character to get past the scandal-filled last few weeks could be what defines the club and the strong team that Madidilane has built since he took over two years ago.

If Bantu win the league, they will become the first club to win the new prize money of half a million Maloti that’s on offer from new league sponsors Econet Lesotho. However, Madidilane knows this will not be an easy game for his charges. Although he could not name them, he admitted they have injury concerns about two of their players who will undergo a late fitness test later this week to see if they will be available for the weekend’s game. “Everybody that plays Bantu wants to win, and we want to get the three points, so we can’t be complacent we have to get the results,” Madidilane said.

“I do have few injury concerns but those players will go for a late fitness test to see if they are available, but if they are not it’s okay I believe we have players that can do the job,” he said. This titanic clash against Lioli is set to kickoff at 3pm, but before that there is another mouth-watering tie that forms part of the double header at 1pm between Matlama and Lesotho Defence Force (LDF). ‘Tse Putsoa’ are looking to cement their position on third place while LDF are pushing for a top four spot. A win could see ‘Sohle-Sohle’ jump over Kick4Life who will not be in action this weekend.

Luciah Phahla

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