Matlama, LDF renew rivalry
Two of the country’s most successful clubs, Matlama and Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), look to renew their rivalry with a clash in the Vodacom Premier League (VPL) at Maputsoe DiFA stadium
Matlama will be looking to solidify their seat at the apex of the VPL table while the army side will be looking to improve their position from third place.
The Maseru-city based Matlama, Lesotho’s most decorated club with ten premier league titles, have been on a fine form in recent league outings having won five of their last six games and getting just one draw against Lijabatho in December.
They come into this tie at the back of a confident 3-0 thumping of Swallows last weekend shortly after a 2-0 victory over Kick4Life.
On the other hand, their challengers, LDF come into this encounter with a slight drop in form and lack of winning consistency. They have had three wins out of their past five games, despite a 1-0 victory over defending champions Bantu in December 2021, they lost with a similar score line to Linare and won 6-0 against Likhopo. Two weeks ago, they beat Kick4Life 1-0 and played to a 2-all draw against Lioli.
Out of the recent 10 matches between the two premier league heavyweights, Matlama has the upper hand having recorded four wins against LDF’s with the other three matches ending in stalemates.
Matlama Marketing manager, Themba Talane told Newsday Sport on Wednesday that they are ready to secure a victory over LDF.
“We go into this match knowing very well the caliber of team we are up against, however, just like any other game we have played, it is a must-win because ours is to stay where we are which is the top of the league,” Talane said.
“Every game we go into we are very cautious and do not take any team for granted because football is football so we are also not taking any chances about it.
“The good news is that we are the hosts which means advantage is in our favour with our supporters rallying behind the team, we are definitely taking this one,” he said.
For his part, LDF’s Communication and Marketing Manager, Donny Ntakha, expressed the magnitude of the game saying it will not be an easy game.
“We are going against a team that we defeated in the first round which means just for that fact, this game will not be a-walk-in-the-park because they will be looking to not lose to the same team twice in one season.
“However, the goal is still the same, to win every game regardless of who we are playing against. So in the same manner, we are going full-force with no respect and not cautious of anything,” Ntakha said.
Ntakha mentioned that apart from their captain and attacking midfielder Tšepo Toloane who is out of selection due to a thigh injury, the army side is in good shape.
Meanwhile, in other weekend fixtures, the LCS will play venue to a double-header of Kick4Life vs LMPS and LCS against Liphakoe. League strugglers Swallows will look to cause an upset against Lioli at LDF ground, with CCX taking on Lifofane at LAC
and Sefotha-fotha welcome Bantu also tomorrow.
Only two games will take place on Sunday when Manonyane hosts Lijabatho in Nyakosoba with Likhopo taking on Linare at LCS ground.