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Matlama to take on Coton Sport



MASERU – Vodacom Premier League champions Matlama say they are ready to take on Coton Sport of Cameroon after the West African side were confirmed as Matlama’s opponents in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.

The CAF Champions League draw was held on Tuesday and Matlama will be at home in the first leg on 9 September before travelling to Cameroon a week later.

Matlama head coach, Molebatsi Mothobi, said ‘Tse Putsoa’ had been waiting to see who they pull out and his analysts have already started looking into Coton Sport to find what their opponents are all about.

Mothobi said Matlama were prepared to draw any team and that is why ‘Tse Putsoa’ had already started preparing.

He admitted, however, that playing a continental fixture before the local Vodacom Premiership has started may be a disadvantage for his side.

The start date for the 2022/23 Vodacom Premier League season is yet to be announced.

“It could be (a disadvantage), some might say playing a competitive international game with no game time locally is a disadvantage but if we prepare well, we will be okay,” said Mothobi.

“We are trying to get a lot of friendly games, we are talking to other teams outside the country, even inside the country.”

Mothobi said knowing their opponents well will help the Lesotho champions prepare even better.

“We didn’t know which team we were going to play, but the draw was only yesterday and my analysts have been looking at them. They have just started (studying Coton Sport) and will continue to find out more about them,” the Matlama mentor explained.

“We want to know what’s normal about them, what’s their weakness, how do they play, (and) things like that. For now, though, we aren’t sure whether their league has started or not, it’s something we are looking at,” Mothobi added.

The Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) has confirmed that the game will be played in South Africa. The venue has not been confirmed yet but it is likely to be the Dobsonville Stadium in Gauteng.

Mothobi said not being able to play in the presence of their fans is a disadvantage for Matlama because it feels like the match is an away tie.

Lesotho’s national side, Likuena, have been playing their games in South Africa since Setsoto Stadium was banned in May last year by Africa’s governing body, CAF, for not meeting international standards.

Tlalane Phahla

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