Li­oli want to end 2014 on a high

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

her skip­ping im­por­tant races such as Soweto Marathon in South Africa, Tjoka is hop­ing she has fi­nally

“We will be en­ter­ing a cru­cial part of the league pro­gramme in the New Year and it is im­por­tant that we stretch the lead by a big mar­gin go­ing into the Christ­mas break,” Mokhothu noted.

The Li­oli men­tor fur­ther said he was happy that his team has been de­liv­er­ing after some of his play­ers ap­peared to be suf­fer­ing from burnout fol­low­ing a tough 2015 Africa Cup of Na­tions (Af­con) cam­paign with the na­tional team, Likuena.

Le­sotho beat Kenya and Liberia in the knock­out stage of the Af­con tour­na­ment be­fore draw­ing Burk­ina Faso, Gabon and An­gola in the group phase of the cam­paign.

How­ever, the team, which com­prised seven Li­oli play­ers, failed to make it to the fi­nal, with Burk­ina Faso and Gabon mak­ing it from the group.

“Luck­ily for us, we had a plan and rested some of our key per­son­nel, while giv­ing fringe play­ers a chance to play and they did not dis­ap­point,” said Mokhothu.

“We also had to change our game­plan to suit the play­ers we had at the time and so far so good; ev­ery­thing is work­ing quite well for us.”

Mokhothu noted Li­oli are still with­out key play­ers, Lekhanya Lekhanya, cap­tain Shet­sane Ramo- re­cov­ered and also told the Le­sotho Times she still has “five more good years to give to ath­let­ics”. Li­oLi coach, Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu, has called on his charges to beat Linare in their last league match of the year and open “a big gap” at the top of the 14-team Vodacom Premier­ship ta­ble.

Tse Nala travel to Hlotse on Satur­day to play Linare in their last match of the first round cam­paign and Mokhothu said de­spite his team al­ready guar­an­teed a top fin­ish at the end of the year, they still need all the three points on of­fer.

“Matches against Linare are never easy and the ri­valry has a big his­tory so we will have to be at our best to fin­ish the year on a high note,” Mokhothu said.

The Li­oli coach in­sisted it was im­por­tant to give Satur­day’s match the re­spect it de­serves, and for­get about Linare’s woes.

The Hlotse-based side last week sus­pended their two star play­ers, cap­tain Mabuti Pot­loane and de­fender Kopano Mo­taung, for al­leged in­dis­ci­pline and were beaten 2-0 by sec­ond-placed Bantu last Satur­day, and had lost 1-0 to LCS the pre­vi­ous week­end. Linare cur­rently oc­cupy eighth po­si­tion on the ta­ble. seeka, and Teboho Lekhooa, while Jerry Kamele had also joined the list of in­jured play­ers.

Mean­while, in another clos­ing league match of the first round set for Satur­day, Mat­lama will be seek­ing to fin­ish among the top four teams on the ta­ble, as they face rook­ies Lik­ila United away in Butha-Buthe.

Veteran mid­fielder Pali Tša­long said last week’s 3-0 win away to Nyenye Rovers in St Mon­ica’s had boosted morale among the Mat­lama ranks.

“It’s im­por­tant to fin­ish the first round in a re­spectable po­si­tion and for us to do that, we have to win this match against Lik­ila,” Tša­long said.

“We played very well away to Nyenye last week­end and i think we can con­tinue with that form and end the first round cam­paign in a re­spectable po­si­tion.”

Also on Satur­day, Likhopo host Sun­dawana, while LCS are also at home to Mphat­lalat­sane.

Week­end fix­tures at a glance De­cem­ber 13: Linare v Li­oli (Hlotse), Lik­ila v Mat­lama (ButhaButhe), Likhopo v Sun­dawana (LCS Ground), LCS v Mphat­lalat­sane (LCS).

in another league match played on Satur­day, LCS beat in­con­sis­tent Likhopo 1-0 to force their way back into the top four of the ta­ble.

Also on Satur­day, the coun­try’s most suc­cess­ful team, Mat­lama, were in ram­pant mood as they thrashed Nyenye Rovers 3-0 in St Mon­ica’s.

in­spi­ra­tional skip­per Phafa Tšosane bagged a brace while Jane Tha­ban­tšo scored the other goal to en­sure the Tse Put­soa re­turned to Maseru with all the three points on of­fer. The win took Mat­lama to fifth po­si­tion on the ta­ble.

in Mafeteng, de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons, Bantu se­cured a com­fort­able 2-0 win over Linare, with Litšepe Marabe net­ting his 10th goal of the sea­son.

Hlom­pho ‘Stiga’ Kalake had scored a cracker of a goal to break the dead­lock, send­ing the crowd into a frenzy.

Bantu are in sec­ond po­si­tion on the ta­ble and have col­lected 27

She added: “i’m not even think­ing of re­tire­ment, be­cause i still have five more years to go be­fore I points from 13 matches.

in Butha-Buthe, Mphat­lalat­sane were beaten 2-1 by Lik­ila United.

The league rook­ies now oc­cupy sixth po­si­tion on the ta­ble, while Tšepo Hlo­jeng’s side, Mphat­lalat­sane, are12th.

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