By Moorosi Tsiane
MASERU — Resurgent Linare tomorrow face yet another acid test when they clash with powerhouse Matlama at LCS Ground in what should be a sizzling Premier League tie.
Last weekend, the on-form Hlotse-based outfit beat defending champions Lioli 1-0 at home, which saw them leapfrog the TY outfit into second place on the 14-team Premiership table.
A win against fourth-placed Matlama would enhance Linare’s chances of winning their first-ever Premiership championship as they are currently seven points behind log-leaders Bantu, who are also chasing their maiden league title.
However, Freese Ntene’s charges, who have not lost since the second round of the league started in February — winning six and drawing two of their eight matches — would need to be at their best to beat the crowd-pulling Matlama in Maseru.
“We have been on a good run since the start of the second round when I took over, simply because I warned the boys they must have passion for this team if they want to be part of it,” Ntene said.
“Last weekend’s 1-0 over Lioli brought a lot of confidence into the team, and the players now have this belief that they can go all the way and win the title.
“But I wouldn’t want to put the players under pressure by talking about the league title now, because there are still a lot of games to take care of before the season comes to a close.
“We will take every match as it comes and like I said, the race for the league title is still wide open, and anything can happen. We just need to take every match as it comes and then see what happens.”
Matlama coach, Mofihli Makoele, on the other hand, admitted his side has not been playing well of late, especially in their last match which they lost 1-0 to LCS last Saturday.
“We failed to play as a team against LCS; our defence was poor, but it will be a different ball-game on Friday against Linare,” Makoele said.
“Linare are not that dangerous; we have also worked on our shooting to make sure we score come Friday’s match, which we failed to do that against LCS despite creating numerous scoring chances.”
In other Premier League matches scheduled for tomorrow, Melele host Mphatlalatsane, table-topping Bantu will be at home against Mpharane Celtics and LDF face LCS at Ha Ratjomose.