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Anxious times at Lioli

by Lesotho Times
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Mikia Kalati
Premier league log-leaders, Lioli, failed to get the much-needed win in the two matches they played  over the Easter holiday, drawing both ties and ultimately reducing their lead to just three points with three matches to go before the curtain comes down on the season .

Tse Nala started the weekend with a one-all draw against second-placed Bantu last Friday but had to come back from behind after the home team had scored first, to thunderous applause from the bumper crowd at Leshoboro Stadium.

Both teams were in action again on Monday, with Bantu edging Matlama 1-0 in Mafeteng while Lioli were held to a goalless draw by relegation-threatened Mphatlalatsane in St Monica’s.

These are surely worrying times for Tse Nala’s coaches because they cannot afford to slip-up at this time of the campaign having dominated the season for so long.

There is no doubt this is going to be a big challenge for Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu in his team’s  remaining matches if they are hoping  to wrestle the league title away from Bantu.

The Teyateyaneng-based team will play Linare, Likhopo and Kick4Life in their remaining fixtures and surely it is not going to be easy to get the three points as their opponents also desperately need them.

On the part of Bantu, they still have to play LDF, Mphatlalatsane and Linare and nothing suggests these are going to be easy fixtures either.

With Bantu slowly but surely creeping on Lioli, credit should go to their coach, Motlatsi Shale, who never threw in the towel even when it appeared Lioli were running away with the title.

A Matšo Matebele have been very consistent since playing in the 2015 African Champions League  and also reinforcing their team with quality players over recent transfer-windows.

I have also been impressed with the performance of former national under-20 midfielder, Hlompho Kalake, who has taken his game to another level since moving to Bantu from Matlama.

Last Friday, Kalake was outstanding against Lioli and I hope he will continue to keep his feet on the ground because he has the potential to go far with his career as age is still on his side.

One thing is for sure, though; we are going to see a photo-finish to the league campaign as the race has since been reduced to a two-team contest between Bantu and Lioli.

I must say, while I would have wanted teams like Matlama and LCS to be also involved in this exciting run-in as the rivalry between Bantu and Matlama is still very much interesting.

Talking of Matlama, I’m very disappointed with the team’s inconsistency over recent weeks.

I expected them to do far much better especially after adding Mabuti Potloane, Nkau Lerotholi and Kopano Motaung to their already strong squad, in the January transfer-window.

They showed us that they have what it takes to take on anyone, during the Independence Cup in October last year where the knocked out Bantu before losing to Lioli in the final on penalties.

But I have this feeling that their coaches have failed their supporters as they have struggled to get the best out of their talented team.

I think I agree with their supporters who have recently shown their displeasure with the coaching at the club.

With that said, I wish all the teams the best of luck as the league draws to a close.

I also wish to congratulate Motlokoa Nkhabutlane, who won the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Sunday, walking away with the winner’s prize of M250 000 in the process.

Nkhabutlane deserves a lot of praise as he has continued to do our country proud at the highest level.

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