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“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Monday, February 6, 2017

Lioli, Bantu and Kick4Life in control of LNIG Top 8 ties

Lioli's Jerry Kamela has now scored three goals in his last two
LNIG Top 8 games...
Lioli, Bantu and Kick4Life are in control of their respective LNIG Top 8 quarterfinal ties after impressive first leg wins this weekend. The three sides continued their supreme league form with superb victories over Likhopo, Matlama and Sundawana respectively.

Lioli and Bantu did their business on Saturday at the Setsoto Stadium.

Defending LNIG Top 8 champions Lioli were the first in action and they beat a gallant but overmatched Likhopo side 3-0.

Lioli’s Jerry Kamela, who scored the winner in last year’s final and was also voted player of the tournament, continued  his love affair with the competition scoring twice while the in-form Tumelo Khutlang added a third as Tse Nala all but sealed passage to the semi-finals in heavy rain at Setsoto.

The weather conditions only got worse and the second semi between Matlama and Bantu surprisingly went ahead despite a rain soaked pitch.

When the game got underway the sides were evenly-matched just as they were last month when Matlama ran out 1-0 winners in the league. This time, however, it was A Matšo Matebele who were celebrating as Peter “Chuku” Maloisane and Lazola Tjokotjokwana cancelled out Phafa Tšosane’s goal for Matlama.
Matlama v Bantu went ahead despite a heavy downpour
The 2-1 win puts Bantu in a strong position heading into the second leg which they will host at the Leshoboro Sports Complex in Mafeteng on February 26.

The winners of the Lioli-Likhopo and Bantu-Matlama second legs, of course, will meet in the semi-finals and so far it looks as though it will be a clash of Lioli and Bantu, the two teams that have monopolised the LNIG Top 8 trophy since the competition started in 2014.

Past LNIG Top 8 winners:

On Sunday, red-hot Kick4Life suffered a scare but ultimately claimed an entertaining 5-3 win over Sundawana at the Maputsoe DiFA Stadium.

Kikck4Life led 4-0 by the 18th minute after goals from debutant Thapelo Tale, Morapeli Lesoetsa, Fidel Ntoya-Malonga and Bokang Mothoana. But Tse Bo Yellow mounted a spirited comeback and cut the lead to 4-2 after goals from Rethabile Rasethuntša and Tau Masiu.

However, Tale, who signed for Leslie Notši’s side last week, added his second in the 62nd minute to weather the Sundawana storm. Mojalefa Tšoeu scored an 88 minute penalty to make it 5-3.

But with five away goals in the bag, Kick4Life will be confident of making it to the semi-finals.

The last semi-final of the weekend turned out to be the least entertaining as old rivals LDF and LCS played to a tense goalless draw in Maputsoe. The score means the tie is finely poised ahead of the second leg which Masheshena will host at the LCS Stadium on February 25.

LNIG Top 8 quarterfinal first leg results:
Likhopo 0-3 Lioli
Matlama 1-2 Bantu
Sundawana 3-5 Kick4Life

Second legs
Saturday, 25 February
LCS v LDF (13:00, LCS)
Kick4Life v Sundawana (15:00, LCS)
Sunday, 26 February
Bantu v Matlama (15:00, Leshoboro Sports Complex)
Lioli v Likhopo (15:00, LCS)

LNIG Top 8 top scorers:
2 goals:
Jerry Kamela (Lioli)
Thapelo Tale (Kick4Life)

1 goal:
Tumelo Khutlang (Lioli)
Peter Maloisane (Bantu)
Lazola Tjokotjokwana (Bantu)
Phafa Tšosane (Matlama)
Fidel Ntoya-Malonga (Kick4Life)
Bokang “Lefty” Mothoana (Kick4Life)
Morapeli Lesoetsa (Kick4Life)
Rethabile Rasethuntša (Sundawana)
Tau Masiu (Sundawana)
Mojalefa Tšoeu (Sundawana)

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