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Lifofane, Lijabatho in colossal clash for M20k


Mohloai Mpesi

Clash of the titans is set to be experienced tomorrow when two A-Division giants collide at Bambatha-TÅ¡ita Sports Arena for the NedBank Championship title.

Two stream champions, Lifofane from the North stream will lock horns with the Southern bosses, Lijabatho on a chase for the M20 000 cash prize.

The spectacular will play two legs; tomorrow and on June 8 at Botha-Bothe grounds.

Both clubs were booted out of the Nedbank Top 8 at the early stages which ended last Saturday with Litšilo, crowned the tournament kings after thrashing Lithabaneng Golden 2-1.

Lifofane coach, Pitso Mphunyane, shared that their aim was to close the season without a single loss although they were outsmarted by Lithabaneng Golden in the quarterfinals of the NedBank Top 8 contest.

Lifofane ended the A-Division 2018-19 season without a single loss in all their eighteen league games, collecting 46 points.   

“We are fully prepared; you called at a time when we are still in the middle of our practice session,” Mphunyane said.

“We wanted to finish this season without a single loss, but unfortunately we were beaten by Lithabaneng Golden and we want to beat Lijabatho in return.”

He noted that they took their time to watch their counterparts in the NedBank Top 8.

“…and we realised their strengths and weaknesses. We are however yet to sit down and plan how we are going to approach the game,” he said.  

The elated A-Division spokesperson in a separate interview with Newsday Sport, Mothusi Letsie said the division’s standard has shown growth.

“It is the first time where the champion of the competition pockets M20 000. The previous winning prize was a M8 500 before NedBank chipped in to sponsor the contest. The prize has increased the momentum and competitiveness thus our A-Division standard is gradually growing,” he said.

The winner of the NedBank Championship is expected to walk home M20 000 richer while the runner up is anticipated to receive M15 000.

Letsie applauded all the clubs for a competitive show they displayed.

He indicated that all the clubs were eager to be the first NedBank Top 8 cup kings thus displayed strength and offering a tight competition.

CCX FC registered a goalless draw against Lithabaneng Golden and Limkokwing University FC in the semi-finals and the third place play offs respectively.

“We are very happy with how the tournament turned out, although the support shown was not promising, but I think it is because most teams are not from Maseru like CCX and Litšilo,” Letsie said.

He commended the referees officiating the matches citing they display professionalism.

He stressed that the A-Division has improved, however noted there was still room for more growth.

“The highlight of this season is that all the teams individually wanted to make history of being the first champion and that set the bar high.

“The sponsors were also ecstatic because we have been working hand in hand with them from the beginning of the tournament monitoring the growth and the impact of the sponsorship. We want to retain Nedbank and attack more others,” he said.

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