MASERU — The race for promotion into the elite Vodacom Premier League goes a gear up this weekend with two former premier league giants Rovers and Mphatlalatsane eyeing a return to the top-flight after two years in the doldrums.
Having blazed their way through the A Division northern stream, Linaleli as Mphatlalatsane are affectionately known, will not want this chance to slip away after two frustrating years in the lower division league.
Standing in the way of the St Monica’s outfit is the resilient fourth-placed Sefotha-fotha side that will be playing to secure a top four finish.
Veteran Mphatlalatsane defender, Tšepo Hlojeng, is adamant they will win the game against Sefotha-fotha on Sunday to announce their return to the top-flight league.
“It is going to be a tough game. They (Sefotha-fotha) will be more confident on match day enjoying the home ground advantage but we will not allow that as we have to finish the business on Sunday,” said Hlojeng, a former Lesotho senior national team captain.
“It is going to be interesting but that is what football is about, that is what supporters want — they want excitement. It’s going to be a great end to the A Division season.”
In the southern stream, the race is between 1996 league champions Rovers, Kick4Life and pre-season promotion favourites Qoaling Highlanders who trail both the university team and Kick4Life by one point.
A win over Rovers for the underrated Kick4Life could see the Motlalepula Majoro-coached side making it into the premier league for the first time in their short football history.
However, Rovers, who lead the pack with 32 points, followed by Kick4Life in second place failed to increase their lead by three points on Easter Monday after they were held to a one-all draw by Liphakoe in Quthing.
Only a win over the inconsistent Kick4Life on Saturday in Roma will secure them promotion back to the big league.
For the Qoaling-based team, it could be another disappointing season finishing as runners up to Rovers after they were beaten to promotion by Majantja in the 2010/11 campaign.
Highlanders coach, Wright Mofoka, told the Lesotho Times that winning promotion is still a possibility.
“The ball is in the court of Rovers now, but we have to win our remaining match against Maseru Naughty Boys and hope that Rovers’ match against Kick4Life ends in a draw,” Mofoka said.
“We have to focus on our match against Maseru Naughty Boys and hopefully the players will rediscover their early season form.”
He said it was painful to lose the promotion battle to Majantja in the last campaign and they do not want to go through that experience again.
All the southern stream matches will be played on Saturday, while the Northern stream fixtures will take place on Sunday.
The Lesotho Football Association competitions department have announced that the A division draw for the Top 4 will be held at Bambatha Tšita sports Arena on Monday.
A Division fixtures:
Southern stream (Saturday April 14)
Mabeoana FC vs Arsenal FC
Swallows FC vs Qacha’snek LMPS FC
Liphakoe FC vs Melele FC
Qoaling highlanders FC vs Maseru N Boys FC
Rovers FC vs Fc kick for Life
Northern stream (Sunday April 15)
Lerotholi Polytechnic FC vs BB.Fastxi FC
BB.Warriors FC vs Lithabaneng Golden FC
Sefothafotha FC vs Mphatlalatsane FC
BB Roses FC vs Nyenye Rovers FC
Roaring Lions FC vs Qalo FC