Lioli are hoping to return to winning ways when they host Kick4Life in a Vodacom Premier League tie set for Setsoto Stadium this weekend.
The Teyateyaneng outfit last won a league match on 3 October when they beat struggling Mphatlalatsane 2-0 at Setsoto and have since been toppled from the premiership summit because of their sudden loss of form.
Lioli goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhehle says the match against Kick4Life is a must-win if Tse Nala are to retain the league title and restore their pride severely damaged by back-to-back defeats against bitter rivals Bantu early this month.
“Things have not been going well for us in recent matches and we have a great chance of getting it right against Kick4Life on Saturday,” Mokhehle said.
“I must admit losing two matches in a row against Bantu really hit us hard and we lost our confidence in the process.”
After going down 1-3 to Bantu in a league match on 1 November at Setsoto—their first loss of the season—Lioli were beaten by the Mafeteng giants once again the following weekend in the Independence Cup final.
Mokhehle says losing against Kick4Life could further affect the players’ confidence, adding a win would send a clear message that they are still a force to reckon with and the team to beat for the championship. Lioli played to a goalless draw against LCS last weekend while Kick4life lost 0-3 at the hands of Mphatlalatsane, but Mokhehle says it is time the poor form comes to an end.
“We know it’s important to get back to winning ways as other teams have caught up with us at the top of the table,” said Mokhehle.
“We are now third on the table behind Matlama and Likhopo so we need to start winning again to return to the top of the table where we belong.
“I know losing is part of the game, but we have set ourselves high standards so the match against Kick4Life presents us with a chance to prove that we are still a good side.”
In another league match set for Saturday, 10th-placed Sundawana face Likhopo at LCS Ground hoping to continue with their resurgence under new coach Bob Mafoso. The Butha-Buthe outfit have won four successive league matches since Mafoso replaced Freeze Ntene as head-coach in August.
On the other hand, Likhopo last weekend lost for the first time this season, going down 1-2 to Matlama and losing top spot to Tse Putsoa in the process.
However, Mafoso refuses to take the credit for Sundawana’s resurgence, and says what is important is for the team to continue with its good form.
“I think the signs were there even when I was assistant coach (to Ntene),” Mafoso said. “However, the important thing is to continue performing well and make full use of the players’ newfound confidence. We would want to continue with our good run and the match against Likhopo gives us the platform to do just that.”
In another premier league match set for Saturday, second-from-bottom LMPS host basement side Mphatlalatsane at PTC.
LMPS have not won a league match since shocking Bantu in their first match of the 2015/16 season in August.
On Sunday, table-topping Matlama travel to Quthing to face struggling Liphakoe; Linare host Bantu in Quthing; LCS take on Rovers at LCS Ground, while LDF entertain Likila United.