Tse Nala prove their met­tle

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

DE­FEND­ING league cham­pi­ons Li­oli main­tained their sta­tus as the coun­try’s cup kings on Sun­day by outscor­ing LCS 4-3 to suc­cess­fully de­fend their LNIG Top 8 crown.

The pas­sage to the fi­nal was not an easy one for the Tey­ateya­neng side who over­came bit­ter ri­vals and bo­gey side, Bantu 4-2 in Satur­day’s ex­cit­ing semi-fi­nal clash.

Sun­day’s fi­nal was an equally ex­cit­ing af­fair to the very end and Hale­makale Mahlaha’s side proved their met­tle by re­cov­er­ing from a goal down to win 4-3.

The fact that LCS scored first, and an early 10th minute goal for that mat­ter, showed how much the cor­rec­tional ser­vice side badly wanted to win the tro­phy.

This will cer­tainly go down as the liveli­est cup com­pe­ti­tion we have wit­nessed in the coun­try in a long time and a very good ad­ver­tise­ment for our foot­ball too.

The com­pe­ti­tion had ev­ery­thing that a foot­ball spec­ta­tor could ask for and to their credit, the match of­fi­cials were up to the task, mak­ing the right calls and never the sort of con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions that would have in­flu­enced the out­come of the matches.

It was in­deed a lovely week­end of foot­ball with end to end en­ter­tain­ment on the field of play, filled with beau­ti­ful goals and in­di­vid­ual bril­liance.

The fierce bat­tle be­tween the two teams did not start and end on the field of play as the clubs used ex­tra forces to help them win matches.

This came in the form of a san­goma that was found in one of the dress­ing rooms ap­ply­ing his charms be­fore the fi­nal.

These are the ex­tra­or­di­nary lengths the clubs are pre­pared to go just to win the tour­na­ment.

And Li­oli have proved my pre-sea­son pre­dic­tion cor­rect.

I said they would once again be the team to beat this sea­son on the strength of the qual­ity and depth in their squad.

That qual­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence was the dif- fer­ence be­tween them and Bantu and LCS on their way to their third LNIG Top 8 ti­tle since Le­sotho Na­tional In­sur­ance Group (LNIG) be­gan spon­sor­ing the cup in 2014.

The squad has been to­gether for al­most five years as has the tech­ni­cal team although Hale­makale Mahlaha has as­sumed the hot seat while Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu has been re-as­signed to as­sis­tant coach.

Li­oli also boasts ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers like Bushy Mo­let­sane whose ca­reer spans more than ten years at the high­est level.

Mo­let­sane has won al­most ev­ery tro­phy on of­fer but con­tin­ues to show the same at­ti­tude and hunger that he gave a decade ago.

Then there is Tumelo ‘ Makhopo’ Khut­lang who swept all the in­di­vid­ual awards at the tour­na­ment.

It would re­miss on my part if I did not com­mend him for his bril­liant goals against Bantu and this is one player who could go on to make a name for him­self on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

He just needs to keep a cool head and achieve con­sis­tency.

LNIG Top 8 cham­pi­ons Li­oli.

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