Lioli edges Lifofane

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Moorosi Tsiane

LIOLI’S first half goals from Switbirth Kum and Tumelo Makha were enough to sink Lifofane 1-2 in a Vodacom Premier League tie at in Butha-Buthe yesterday.

The tie was a catch-up game after it was originally called off due to heavy rains in January shortly before football activities were suspended by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA).

The match started on a low tempo with players from both sides showing some signs of rustiness.

It was the home side which came close to opening the scorers in ninth minute but Thabang Seturumane narrowly missed the target from a Thato Moabi through pass.

However, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock with Kum tapping in from a Montoeli Sonopo pass in 24th minute.

Ten minutes later, Lioli came close to extending their lead but Makha’s set piece found the cross bar.

Lifofane failed to clear their lines three minutes before halftime after defender Shali Lekhotla’s pass was intercepted by Makha who wasted no chance and extended his side’s lead.

Both teams made half time substitutes with Lioli introducing Phillip Obrien for injured Kum while Qhobela Mohlominyane and Khobotle Mahotle came in for Thabang Seturumane and Koali Justice.

Ten minutes later, Basia Letuka came in for Paseka Lekena who was Lioli’s second player to be substituted after an injury.

The home side also made its third change introducing Realeboga Rankhothe for Joseph Boateng on the hour mark.

Lifofane’s efforts finally paid off in 70th minute after a miscommunication between Lioli players saw Mafa Moremoholo putting the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Later in the second half, the home started piling pressure for an equaliser but it was instead emotions which ran high resulting in Lifofane coach Michael Armoh getting a red card for using vulgar against match officials in the 81st minute.

Four minutes before time, Lioli introducing Potlaki Nkoebele for Khangela Zungu.

Lifofane saw calls for a penalty being turned down on the 90th minute after Lioli’s Tieho Ntulo handled the ball inside the penalty area.

Lioli coach Mosholi Mokhothu said he was happy with the results.

“It was not an easy game and that own goal gave them a hope that they might get an equaliser,” Mokhothu said.

“They were not posing much danger for the biggest part of the match but things only changed after that goal.

“We started panicking and the lack of fitness started showing but I am happy with the win.”

On his part, Lifofane assistant coach Ramaisa Khopocha said they were disappointed with the results. He however, said they would go back to the drawing board and rectify their mistakes.

“We didn’t really have a bad game considering that we took about four months with no competitive matches and no football at all. Of course; we are not happy with the results especially because we were at home.

“But we will go back to the drawing board and prepare for our next fixture,” Khopocha said.

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