Mokhothu eyes continental return
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.