Mokhothu eyes con­ti­nen­tal re­turn

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Li­oli coach Mosholu ‘ Shoes’ Mokhothu wants his side to win ev­ery tro­phy on of­fer to com­pen­sate for the dis­ap­point­ment of fail­ing to make the first round of the 2016 African Cham­pi­ons League de­spite Sun­day’s 1-0 win against Vi­tal’ô Foot­ball Club in Bu­rundi.

Jerry Kamela scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot but Li­oli could not progress from the pre­lim­i­nary round af­ter los­ing the first leg 2-1 at Set­soto Sta­dium a fort­night ago.

Speak­ing with the Le­sotho Times on their re­turn home on Tues­day, Mokhothu said he was proud his charges man­aged to re­store their pride in Bu­jum­bura af­ter a dis­jointed dis­play in the home loss. Mokhothu also said his fo­cus is now on Li­oli re­tain­ing the league ti­tle and rep­re­sent­ing Le­sotho in the Cham­pi­ons League again next year.

“As painful as it is be­cause the tar­get was to get past this stage, I’m proud of the team be­cause we gave our best,” Mokhothu said.

“Our plan was to get an early goal which we did and wanted to get an­other one that would have won the match for us, but un­for­tu­nately, we couldn’t get the much-needed se­cond goal.

“The fact that we man­aged to win away from home shows that we had what it takes to go far in this com- pe­ti­tion, but we gave it away in the first leg match.”

Mokhothu said the fo­cus was now on re­tain­ing the league cham­pion- ship in or­der to re­turn to con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball again next year.

“We have learnt the hard way, but it is an ex­pe­ri­ence that can help us win ev­ery tro­phy on of­fer and go and rep­re­sent the coun­try in this com­pe­ti­tion again next year. We will be bet­ter-pre­pared next time around and won’t be caught nap­ping again.

“We had a few chal­lenges on the trip like hav­ing to wait over three hours to get a ho­tel af­ter ar­riv­ing in Bu­rundi, and also ar­riv­ing a bit late at the sta­dium on match-day.

“But from what I have seen, all those things were not done de­lib­er­ately. It is just how the peo­ple of Bu­rundi op­er­ate; they are just not good with time-man­age­ment,” he said.

Mokhothu in­sisted he would not stop dream­ing un­til he takes his team past the pre­lim­i­nary stage of the con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tion.

“Like I said, we have to put this dis­ap­point­ment be­hind us and fo­cus on the league and LNIG Top8 tour­na­ment.

“I have no doubt we can win both if the play­ers main­tain the stan­dard they showed in Bu­rundi.

“It was the op­po­site of what we did in the first leg match as the play­ers showed more hunger and de­ter­mi­na­tion to win. If we show that kind of com­mit­ment, we will be back in the same com­pe­ti­tion next year.”

Tse Nala are top of the premier league stand­ings with 10 matches to go and face LDF in the semi­fi­nal of the Top8 com­pe­ti­tion on 9 April.

li­oli squad that played in bu­rundi.

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