THE VODACOM Premier League returned this weekend after last week’s LNIG Top 8 quarter final second leg matches played last weekend.
Of all the matches played last weekend, my focus is on the match that took place between relegation-threatened Likhopo and champions Lioli at LCS Ground on Sunday.
The Tšepo Hlojeng-coached outfit played to a one-all draw with Lioli but the draw was not good enough for the Red Army who crashed out of the tournament on an aggregate score of 3-nil.
This afternoon Likhopo take to the field against a highly motivated Sky Battalion at LCS Ground.
Likhopo have endured a tough season during which they lost their four year sponsorship with Matekane Group of Companies (MGC) in September 2016.
As if losing the sponsorship was not enough, manager Qamako Mahao also handed in his resignation letter towards the end of 2016; the team also lost Lehlomela Ramabele, Thato Moabi and Likano Teele to Liphakoe and Kick4Life respectively at the start of the second round of the season.
Formed in the mid-1990s by the late Bishop Molatoli, Likhopo was once a dominant force in the local football winning back-to-back league titles in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons respectively.
Besides consecutive league titles, their trophy cabinet has housed the Top4, Top8 and Vodacom Spectacular trophies.
Following their disastrous first round performances Likhopo find themselves second from bottom of the 14-team table.
Since the start of the second round, Likhopo have collected three points from three matches and while this may not appear much, it represents an improvement considering how bad they were during the first half of the season.
There is hope for the team especially considering the perennial challenges of fellow strugglers Rovers during the second half of the season.
Rovers usually suffer when the second semester examinations commence at the National University of Lesotho in May because the core of the team are university students.
And while this may not be good for Rovers, it could well work to the advantage of Likhopo if they continue playing with the zeal and commitment they displayed Lioli last Sunday.