MASERU — Lioli served a stirring reminder of their yesteryear prowess in front of goal with a 3-0 win over Majantja on Sunday thanks to goals from Sello ‘Muso, Malebanye Ramoabi and Seenyane Nthejane.
The win got Tse Nala back on track after three successive losses and an unexpected draw in all competitions — their worst run since late 2007 — had derailed their campaign for a second successive Premier League title.
Lioli could have reduced the gap between them and pacesetters Matlama to two points had they not been held to a shock goalless draw against bottom side Botha-Botha Roses last Saturday.
But after their emphatic win over the relegation-threatened Majantja on Sunday, Lioli now find themselves in a position almost similar to where they were last season.
Lioli were at this point last year trailing a rampant LDF by four points as the season entered the final third.
The only difference now is that, unlike last year, Lioli are struggling in front of goal.
Sunday’s 3-0 win was just the second time in six outings Tse Nala had managed to score more than one goal in a match.
Last season Lioli scored 60 goals, but this time round with nine matches to go they have only found the net 29 times.
At the rate they have been scoring, the Teyateyaneng side would find it hard to match their prowess in front of goal last season.
Also, whereas Lioli only lost twice last season, this time round they have already lost three times.
So while Tse Nala are breathing in Matlama’s neck, their assault on this year’s championship will be harder.
The league this year is very competitive — a development that could be attributed to the M100 000 winners’ cheque on offer or the fact that four teams, not two, will be relegated at the end of the season.
Probably Lioli’s only comfort for now is that no other team has been prolific in front of goal.
The league’s top scorers Matlama, with 36 goals, are only averaging 1.7 goals a game and have been aided by three free 3-0 wins for abandoned matches against Swallows, Lioli and Rovers.
Yet, with the gap between Matlama and fourth Bantu being just four points, the championship could be decided by goals.
Vodacom Premier League results:
Sunday: Lioli 3-0 Majantja, Nyenye Rovers 1-1 Swallows, Joy 0-0 Rovers, LCS 4-1 LMPS.