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LMPS stun Lioli

Teboho Molapo

LMPS…….(0) 1

Lioli………(0) 0

MASERU — If Lioli couldn’t beat LMPS yesterday then they probably will never. The champions had everything going

for them — the crowd, a red card for their opponents and even surroundings similar to those in Teyateyaneng. But LMPS are their hoodoo boys and Simunye mercilessly snapped Tse Nala’s 21-match unbeaten league run that stretches back to January when Lioli

lost to you know who — LMPS.

It is now nine games without win over LMPS for Lioli — a run that stretches three years back and includes two cup defeats. Mokhethi Matsora found the net in the dying minutes to continue the police side’s dominance over Lioli. But it should have all been so different

yesterday at LMPS’s High Court ground.

Maybe it could have been had Teboho Nkabane slotted in a guilt-edged chance in the 69th minute. But as it is, LMPS are back in the title

picture, and Lioli aren’t so invincible anymore. Lioli welcomed back Sello ‘Muso and he vibrantly linked up play with Lekhotla Pitso, Seenyane Nthejane, Lekhotso Morapeli and Malebanye Ramoabi in what was essentially a front four for the visitors. And with Brown Makobe offering midfield protection, Lioli had the more chances.

But games turn on moments and yesterday there were two. First was Pitso’s 39th-minute injury and subsequent substitution. Without him Lioli lacked a finisher, someone in the box and someone to match the LPMS defence. Another was the sending off of LMPS centre-back Sheli Ramoseka in firsthalf injury time for lunging into Malebanye Ramoabi.

But instead of being an advantage it wasn’t. In the first half Lioli’s best chance for a goal looked as though it would come from a counter-attack. They twice had good break opportunities but poor decision-making by Morapeli and Nthejane prevented them from reaping any rewards.

However, with Ramoseka off LMPS shut up shop. Lioli had the ball in front of Simunye’s defence but never behind it. As a result Tse Nala were forced into pumping wayward long-range shots, and whenever they saw a chink of light LMPS’s outstanding keeper Lekunutu

Tšoeunyane was there to shut the door.

But the decisive factor in the end yesterday was the two coaches’ substitutions. LMPS coach Lelia Makubekube introduced

Bokang Mohasi, replacing midfielder Lebohang Rasenthuntsa, and adding an attacker when Lioli had forgotten about defending.

To prove that, Lioli coach Halemakale Mahlaha brought on winger Lehlohonolo Mpopo for defender Thapelo Tanka, moving Makobe from midfield to defence and in the process relinquishing midfield stability.

It opened up Lioli. And in the 84th minute LMPS scored after Mohasi nodded a floated corner back into the mix to find Matsora who

was the first to react to scramble the ball in.

Yesterday’s league results:

Majantja 4-0 Butha-Buthe Roses

LCS 1-1 Joy

Bantu 1-2 Matlama

Lerotholi Polytechnic 2-1 LDF

LMPS 1-0 Lioli

Rovers 0-1 Likhopo

Nyenye Rovers 0-0 Linare

Swallows 1-0 Mphatlalatsane

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