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Lioli run riot

 

Moorosi Tsiane

Lioli thrashed Liphakoe 3-0 at Setsoto Stadium yesterday to cement their place at the top of the Vodacom Premier League.

Goals from Basia Makepe, Bushy Moletsane and Nkoto Masoabi sealed Lioli’s emphatic win and took the defending champions’ tally to 49 points—three more than second-placed Matlama who face fifth-placed Bantu today.

The first half started with lot of action in the middle of the park but both teams could not create goal-scoring chances, leaving fans frustrated.

It took Lioli 35 minutes to break the deadlock when Makepe tapped-in Tsoanelo Koetle’s corner after Liphakoe goalkeeper Tšilo Tšilo had failed to clear the ball.

After the goal, Lioli started the dominate proceedings as they went in search of a second.

Five minutes later, their efforts paid off when Masoabi combined with Moletsane who then swept past the keeper to put Lioli two goals up.

Two minutes later, Liphakoe substituted Motlatsi Nkhabu who had a very quiet game, for Neo Skosana, but the game still went to the break 2-0 in favour of Tse Nala.

After half-time, Lioli kept piling pressure on Liphakoe, forcing the visiting side to make another substitution in the 50th minute as Mohau Rammoneng made way for Tšepang Makapa.

The change did not bring the much-needed difference as Liphakoe continued to struggle against their well-organised opponents.

Lioli then introduced Montoeli Sonopo for Lekhanya Lekhanya in the 53rd minute and the move paid dividends as Tse Nala’s attacking flair went a gear up.

Lioli were then forced to pull out Tumelo Khutlang after the midfielder injured his ankle in the  73rd minute and he was replaced by Rasetabele Kalosane.

A minute later, play had to be stopped after a Liphakoe supporter invaded the pitch. However, play soon resumed after the fan was forced off the turf by Liphakoe coach Teele Ntšonyana.

Another misfortune hit Lioli in the 76th minute when goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhehle was shown a straight red card for a foul on Makapa who had a clear scoring chance inside the penalty arch.

Kalosane was then sacrificed for another goalkeeper Kananelo Makhooane.

However, Liphakoe still failed to capitalize on their numerical advantage and it was Masoabi who hammered in the final nail for Lioli five minutes from time with a fine header from Jerry Kamela’s corner kick.

After the match, Lioli coach Mosholu Mokhothu said he was happy for his team as they were  getting closer to defending their title.

“I am happy with the result because it has pushed us closer to league glory. It was important for us to win this match because we were at par with Matlama but now we are three points ahead of them.

“But I am not really impressed with some of the referee’s decisions because they really affected us,” Mokhothu said.

In other matches played yesterday, LDF and Sundawana drew 0-0 at Ratjomose, while LCS and Likhopo also settled for a goalless stalemate at LCS Ground.

Kick4Life beat Likila United 2-1 in Butha-Buthe in the last match of the day.

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