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LDF takes on Liphakoe in VPL catch up

Business

Chris Theko

The Vodacom Premier League (VPL) is set to resume bringing to an end the elite league soccer inactivity tomorrow with two catch up games.

In the first game Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) will host Liphakoe at Ratjomose ground while Linare will host Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) at Maputose DiFA stadium. Both games will begin at 15hrs00.  

The 2020/21 soccer season has been on hold since June 2021 when the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) suspended football due to the rise in the Covid-19 cases in the country and amongst the players. 

The league was suspended with most teams having played 50% of their games.

It was only last month when it was announced that the league would resume and play to finality unlike the 2019/20 season which was aborted prematurely and the title awarded to Bantu who were top-of-the-table. 

LDF Communications and Marketing Manager (CMM) Donny Ntakha told Newsday Sport in an interview this week that they are on a mission to continue where they left off when the league was halted. 

He, however, mentioned that just like all other teams it was challenging to not have been able to play for over four months. 

“The truth is that we are ready to continue from where we left off as we continue to chase the leading three teams ahead of us but it will not be easy now because the form that we had then might have been lost due to a lengthy period of inactivity,” Ntakha said.

The army side is sitting on fourth position in the 16-team league with 24 points from 12 games played having lost two and drawing three. 

The only teams ahead of LDF are Matlama in the lead with 37 points from 15 games, followed by defending champions Bantu with 36 points from 13 games while Lioli sits on third place with 28 points after 16 games. 

Ntakaha stated that they had enough time to prepare for the resumption and that the entire team is ready to battle for the league honors starting with tomorrow’s game.

“All the players have been reporting for training since the first day coach Motheo Mohapi called them in and they are all in good shape though the fitness level could still be a challenge,” he said.

As one of the most utilized and well managed grounds in the league, Ntakha indicated that for all the games to be hosted at Ratjomose everyone will be expected to bring along their Covid-19 vaccine card and their identification to be allowed entry. 

For his part, Liphakoe CMM, Tau Sebatli said the team has been back in training and are ready to do battle against LDF. He said the only worrying factor is that their opponent’s fitness could be better than theirs. 

“Just like other teams we have been preparing as best as we can but time was not enough given that most of our players were now all over the place trying to keep busy. 

“What will be a challenge is that we ended up having players that lost fitness during this lengthy football suspension but the game can be won psychologically not just physically,” Sebatli said. He mentioned that only two of their players are not available for selection being striker, Thapelo Tale who currently is recovering from an ankle injury while goalkeeper Tšilo Tšilo is sick with flu.

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