Line drawn as Fighters, Green Lovers clash

Mogoditshane fighters celebrating there second goal against Santos Pic Kabo Mpaetona
Mogoditshane fighters celebrating there second goal against Santos Pic Kabo Mpaetona

The geographical line of Dibete will be breached once again this Saturday when Mogoditshane Fighters host Green Lovers in the Premier League promotional play-offs. The once-a-season north versus south showdown will see the First Division runners-up lock horns.

The two will finally meet after their match was postponed due to Uniao Flamengo Santos’ appeal. After a vital 2-1 win against Santos on Wednesday afternoon, Fighters will hope to keep up the momentum against a Green Lovers side, which has been inactive since the season ended.  Fighters, the four-time Premier League champions, are yet to make a return to the top flight after two seasons in the lower division.  A home win against Lovers would motivate the side ahead of a tough away encounter in Serowe.

The Brazilians have the likes of Malebogo Ntebogang and Mokgathi Mokgathi in their line-up, as well as the experienced defensive pairing of Kabo ‘Branco’ Molokwane and Kenny ‘Shoes’ Ledikwe.   Confident in their own way, Fighters usually sit back and allow their opponents more territory only to strike when least expected.

Knowing they have to do more to salvage regional honour and decide the encounter before their away leg, Fighters would put their hope squarely on the shoulders of coach Mpho Mabogo.  With little experience in the coaching department, Mabogo has thus far proved beyond reasonable doubt that he may be the right man to take the team forward.

In an interview, Mabogo said they had long prepared for the fixture before the Santos protest.  “We are ready for Lovers and we are not going to put ourselves under pressure, we just need goals,” he said.

Lovers, who are on the verge of making history, will look to secure a vital away win before they host Fighters at home.

They booked themselves a spot in the promotional play-offs when they beat TASC 2-0 on April 18 and it has been a long time since they played.

After another Serowe outfit, Miscellaneous gained automatic promotion to the Premier League, the village has the possibility of having two sides in the league, should Lovers go through.  For a team that gained promotion to the First Division three years ago, Lovers are now two big results away from a dream promotion.

Led by the club captain, Kentse Keakabetse, Lovers could prove to be a thorn in Fighters’ flesh.

They boast of a deadly combination between Edwin Tshimologo, Pusoloso Samson and Moatlhodi Ralesotla upfront. Green Lovers are very strong on attack, notably through the outstanding Samson who is the team’s top goal scorer this season.  In the last seven games, Lovers have conceded three goals and scored 15 goals. They would face a much defensive Fighters; a team that would be comfortable in their own ground. The Green Lovers coach, Onthusitse Kootswele said despite a temporary setback emanating from the Santos protest, the team has long been ready.  “We have been preparing for three weeks now. We just have to fix our players mentally because they were affected by this postponement,” he said.  Kootswele said they would take the game to their opponents and a win is all they aim for.  “I saw Fighters play on Wednesday. So, I might change our normal lineup a bit,” he said.

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