Monday, May 20, 2024
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Acid test for Lioli’s title credentials


…as Matlama pulls ahead

Seabata Mahao

Lioli Football Club (FC) face a crucial test of their title aspirations as they journey to Mohale’s Hoek to take on fellow contenders, Bantu FC, this Sunday.

Hailing from Teyateyaneng, Lioli FC have been entrenched in the title race throughout the season and currently shares the top spot on the league table with Matlama FC.

However, Matlama maintain an edge with a superior goal difference.

With both clubs tied at 61 points after 27 rounds of matches, every upcoming fixture is pivotal.

Lioli were able to get the better of the defending Vodacom Premier League (VPL) champions, Bantu in their reverse fixture earlier in the season.

A repeat of this triumph would ensure they stay neck and neck with Matlama FC, who are expected to dominate Limkokwing University FC on Saturday.

Matlama FC showcased their championship credentials in a thrilling showdown last weekend, prevailing 2-1 over Bantu FC at the Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena.

This crucial victory propelled Matlama to the summit of the league table, creating a five-point buffer ahead of third-placed Bantu with just three matches remaining in the 2023/24 season.

Their triumph not only solidified their position at the top but also intensified the race for the league title, setting the stage for an exhilarating conclusion to the season.

The three title contenders last weekend began a sort of a mini-league among themselves, where Matlama faced Bantu. Next up is Bantu against Lioli, and then Lioli will host Matlama in their last game of the season, which could ultimately decide who between the two will be crowned the league champions.

The rest of the past weekend’s results saw Lioli being frustrated at home by fourth-placed Linare FC, playing to a goalless draw. Lifofane FC then surprised LCS FC with a 1-0 win in Maseru, while LDF FC defeated Naughty Boys FC 2-0.

LMPS thumped CCX FC 3-0, with Lijabatho FC overcoming Limkokwing University by a solitary goal to nil. ACE Maseru FC and Manonyane FC could not be separated as they shared the spoils after a goalless draw. Liphakoe FC and Machokha FC played to a 1-1 draw.

The rest of this weekend’s fixture will see LMPS welcoming Machokha at PTC Ground, Manonyane will host CCX at Nyakosoba Ground, Matlama will face Limkokwing University, while ACE Maseru will entertain Liphakoe at Ratjomose Ground on Saturday.

On Sunday, DIFA Mohale’s Hoek ground will provide the stage for the fiery contest between second-placed Lioli and third-placed Bantu, Naughty Boys will host LCS at Leshoboro Ground, LDF will host Lifofane at Ratjomose Ground, and Linare will host Lijabatho at DIFA Maputsoe.

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