Lioli coach pins hopes on Congo

MASERU — Lioli coach Halemakale Mahlaha hopes playmaker Malebanye Ramoabi will continue his fine early season form when Tse Nala travel to Ratjomose to face LDF on Saturday.

Congo, as Ramoabi is affectionately known in Teyateyaneng, scored a brace, including a trademark free-kick, in a man-of-the-match performance when Lioli beat Mabeoana 2-0 on Sunday.

It was a welcome return to form for the experienced midfield schemer who helped Lioli get their 2010/11 Vodacom Premier League campaign off to a confident start.

Last season Ramoabi’s performance was below par as Tse Nala surrendered the premiership crown to Matlama.

Speaking to the Lesotho Times this week, Mahlaha said he hoped Ramoabi would shine again this weekend against Sohle-Sohle.

“I’m expecting that he will continue in the same way,” the coach said.

“The weekend before the season started he scored a superb free-kick against Mphatlalatsane and I prayed to God that it would be the start of good form for Congo.”

Mahlaha said it was critical for Lioli to have their campaign get off to a good start unlike last season when the Teyateyaneng giants had to play catch-up and still failed to sweep over eventual champions Matlama.

But he said the fact that Tse Nala had a good record against LDF did not make his side the favourites for Saturday’s clash.

Lioli are unbeaten in the league against the army side in the past three seasons.

However, LDF will be looking to kick-start their campaign after getting only a point against Joy in their first match last weekend.

“That is what gives us pressure,” Mahlaha said.

“LDF will come at us with full force. All in all we have to be well prepared to face LDF.”

“We want to take maximum points from the game,” he added.

“Last season we started to pick up (form) late, so this season we want to change that.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Linare will look to build on their impressive 2-0 win over LMPS on the opening weekend when they host Likhopo.

Also in Hlotse, Joy host LMPS while, in Matsieng, Mabeoana will be looking for their first ever point in top-flight football when they welcome Swallows.

Weekend fixtures

 Saturday: Linare vs Likhopo (Hlotse), LDF vs Lioli (Ratjomose), Joy vs LMPS (Hlotse), Mabeoana vs Swallows (Matsieng).

 Sunday: LCS vs Bantu (Central Prison), Mphatlalatsane vs Matlama (St Monica’s), Maduma vs Lerotholi (Khukhune).

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