By Moorosi Tsiane
MASERU — Lioli coach Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu has admitted his side’s chances of retaining the Premier League title are increasingly becoming bleak.
The Teyateyaneng-based outfit lost 2-0 to LCS in Maseru on Monday, further denting their chances of defending the Premiership title, with just four matches remaining before the 2013/14 season comes to a close.
Lioli are currently second on the 14-team Premier League table with 44 points, and trail log-leaders Bantu by eight points.
After Monday’s loss, Bantu now just need four points from their remaining fixtures against Likhopo, Qoaling Highlanders, Linare and Joy to win their first ever Premier League title.
Lioli, on the other hand, face Likhopo, Qoaling Highlanders, Mpharane Celtics and Joy in their last matches of the season, but Mokhothu believes Monday’s loss had dealt his side a body blow.
“We lost a very important match on Monday and our title-chances are now very slim. But we will have to remain positive until the last ball of the season is kicked,” Mokhothu said.
The Lioli mentor attributed Monday’s humbling defeat to fatigue, following yet another tough Premier League tie against army-side LDF three days before.
“We played two very big matches over a short period of time and the players looked tired on Monday against LCS.
“Remember on Friday, we played away against LDF and won 2-1, so there was an element of fatigue in the defeat against LCS.
“Also, I think the fact that we did not call the players into camp at a time a lot of recreational activities were happening during the Easter holiday, negatively impacted on our game,” said Mokhothu.
However, the former LCS coach, who took the correctional service side to a league double in 2010/11 and 2011/12, denied allegations the team’s inconsistency was due to acrimony in the technical department following the appointment of national under-20 coach, Moses Maliehe, in January.“No; there is nothing like that in the technical team; we are all getting along very fine, unless there is something I do not know,” said Mokhothu.
In other league matches, Melele will face LMPS, Linare will be at home with LDF, the on form Likhopo will host Lioli and league pace-setters, Bantu will entertain Joy away. LCS will visit Mphatlalatsane at St. Monica’s while Qoaling Highlanders will be hosts to Mpharane Celtics.
All the matches are scheduled for Saturday to accommodate Makoanyane XI who will be hosting Swaziland in the return fixtures of African Youth Championship on Sunday.