MASERU — Premier league champions, Lioli, will be hoping to put behind last Sunday’s disappointment of losing to Bantu in the Independence Top4 when they face league rookies Mphatlatsane in a match set for Lesotho Correctional Service Ground later today.
Lioli mentor, Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu, told this paper that the week after losing the title to rivals Bantu last Sunday, has been the toughest since he started out as a coach.
“It has been an uphill battle to console the players after the loss to their bitter rivals last Sunday,” Mokhothu said.
Tse Nala lost the match 4-3 on penalties despite dominating the match and scoring an early lead which was thrown away in the dying minutes of the game.
“Life must go-on and we have tried our best to get the team back in good shape,” he said..
Lioli have struggled to win their last two matches having had a flying start to the new campaign winning all four of their opening league games. “We cannot go around the bush about it, it has been a difficult job to help the players accept the loss to their rivals, but things looked a bit better in our Thursday training session,” said Mokhothu.
“I think the players will be able to put the disappointment behind them in the match against Mphatlalatsane,” he said.
He urged the supporters not to give-up on the team following the Top4 final heartbreak. “They have been our 12th player throughout and their presence at the game will be very vital once again in today’s match,” Mokhothu said.
Lioli face the Mphatlalatsane side that has had a promising start to the new campaign under the mentorship of legendary former Likuena skipper, Tšepo Hlojeng.
The St Monica‘s side that recently regained top flight status suffered a narrow 1-0 loss to Bantu a fortnight ago.
They have so far shocked the football fraternity with surprise victories over LCS and LMPS for a newly promoted side.
Elsewhere, Joy among a few teams in the league yet to taste victory since the campaign got underway, will be hoping to collect maximum points against Qoaling Highlanders in Leribe today.
The Qoaling-based team in their second year playing top flight football have been blowing cold and hot so far in the season.
They have seven points from their opening five matches with victories over Nyenye Rovers and Mpharance Celtic while they also managed to hold Bantu to a goalless draw.
The other match in today’s fixture sees inconsistent Thulo Leboela’s Linare hosting struggling Celtic in Hlotse.
Linare held Lioli to a goalless draw in their last match and will be favourites to take the three points this afternoon.
Sunday premier league fixture
Mphatlalatsane v Lioli
Joy v Qoaling Highlanders
Linare v Mpharane Celtic
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