Fans should get ready for a thrilling showdown as two soccer giants, Matlama FC and Lioli FC, prepare to collide in the upcoming Alliance Challenge tournament, set to kick off on September 2 at Setsoto Stadium.
The event, organised by insurance powerhouse Alliance Insurance, promises a weekend of exciting soccer action as the teams battle it out on the pitch.
Last yearâ€™s tournament finalists, Matlama FC and Lioli FC, are poised to renew their rivalry after Lioli emerged victorious in the 2022 edition following a nail-biting 4-2 penalty shootout win.
The stage is set for a rematch that is sure to captivate fans and leave a lasting impression.
The Alliance Challenge tournament, an annual pre-season competition, exclusively features clubs sponsored by Alliance Insurance.
This yearâ€™s event marks the eighth edition of the tournament since its inception in 2015.
The competition not only serves as a platform for soccer prowess but also allows participating teams to raise funds through prize money and gate collections, providing a financial boost ahead of the forthcoming season.
Limakatso Mokobocho, Alliance Insuranceâ€™s Public Relations and Communications Manager, stated: â€œThe tournamentâ€™s objective is to help the teams raise funds through the prize money and gate-takings, ahead of the new season. We want to ensure that the teams have some funds to start the new journey with.â€
Mokobocho further emphasised that the event serves as a crucial fitness and performance test for the teams before the start of the 2023/24 campaign.
Beyond its financial implications, the tournament offers teams a chance to fine-tune their strategies, try out new player combinations, and showcase emerging talents.
Mokobocho underscored the importance of camaraderie, noting that the event is â€œmeant to build friendship among the teams we sponsorâ€.
In addition to Matlama and Lioli, the semi-finals will feature LCS FC squaring off against Linare FC, promising fans a thrilling double-header on September 2.
The LCS vs. Linare match is scheduled to kick off at 12:00 p.m., followed by the Matlama vs. Lioli clash at 3:00 p.m.
As anticipation builds, fans can also look forward to the losersâ€™ final on September 3, commencing at 12:00 p.m, and the grand finale at 3:00 p.m.
Last yearâ€™s edition of the tournament saw Matlama and Lioli locked in a tense 2-2 draw, eventually resolved by a dramatic penalty shootout.
Lioli FC will be aiming for their third Alliance Challenge title, having previously clinched the championship in 2018. As the date draws near, soccer enthusiasts are gearing up to witness an electrifying battle on the field that promises to be nothing short of unforgettable