A wonder-strike from Jeremia Kamele helped Lioli to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Nyenye Rovers in a Vodacom Premier League match played at Setsoto Stadium yesterday.
The victory saw Lioli cement their top spot on the 14-team league table with 38 points while LDF are second with 31 points.
Midfielder Kamele netted in the 40th minute, placing a set-piece into the far post to spark wild celebrations among Lioli supporters
Tse Nala, as Lioli are affectionately known, were all over Rovers from the word go but could not convert the numerous chances they were creating.
However, midfielder Tšoanelo Koetle nearly found the target 15 minutes into the match but his strike from striker Tšepo Lekhooana’s lay-off inside the box hit the woodwork.
A minute later, Lekhooana could not beat Rovers goalkeeper Lebohang Jomane in a one-on-one situation.
Rovers midfielder Limpho Teba was unfortunate not to put his side in the lead after intercepting Sheetsane Ramoseeka’s pass and evading Lioli goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhehle, but he ended up hitting the post on the half-hour mark.
After the break, Lioli introduced Teboho Lekhooa for Lekhanya Lekhanya in the 55th minute before Lekhooana made way for Bafokeng Mosala five minutes later and Nkoto Masoabi was introduced for Bushy Moletsena.
Rovers made two substitution after the breather, with Ntoi Lekena and Serame Sampi coming in for Michael Aboanje and Moorosi Moramanyane in the 55th and 80 th minute, respectively.
Lioli nearly scored a second goal in the 58th minute when Rovers defender Mokhatholane Libomo handed the ball in the penalty area, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.
However, Koetle missed the resultant kick and were nearly punished for this debacle when Rovers striker Karabelo Lazaro hit the post seven minutes later.
Lioli were five minutes from a third successive draw when Kamele came to the rescue from a set piece.
In a post-match interview, Lioli coach Mosholu Mokhothu said yesterday’s win would help his charges regain their confidence and winning mentality following two successive draws.
“This win was very important and I hope that will revive my players’ winning mentality after a series of draws because that is what I have to work on as the pressure was beginning to pile on us,” Mokhothu said.
On his part, Rovers coach, Malefane Ntsukunyane, said he was impressed with how his charges played despite the loss.
In other Premier League matches played yesterday, Mphatlalatsane held LDF to a goalless draw while LCS beat Sundawana 1-0.