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Lioli seeks redemption against Majantja

by Lesotho Times

Mikia Kalati

LIOLI coach Lehlohonolo Thotanyana says Tse Nala will be looking for redemption when they host Majantja in an Econet Premier League encounter this Saturday.

Tse Nala suffered a 3-1 defeat to rivals Matlama last Saturday in their last fixture of a difficult first round, which has seen the club in an unfamiliar eighth position.

The veteran mentor said his side must dig deep to turn the tables around and get their revenge against the Mohale’s Hoek outfit that beat them 3-1 in the first round.

“We simply have to redeem ourselves and find a way forward being the first game of the second round,” Thotanyana said.

“It’s in the second round that we have to perform much better than we did in the first round to boost our chances of finishing in the top-four bracket not necessarily to win the league title.”

Thotanyana said Tse Nala have been hard at work since the defeat to Matlama and is confident of bouncing back against Majantja.

“We are already preparing ourselves for that game so that we win it. The first round was not good for us because we were very inconsistent but I’m hoping that we will impose ourselves in the second round and do better.”

The Teyateyaneng outfit have also been boosted with the return of Tšoanelo Koetle, who is likely to return to the line-up after a long layoff.  The talented anchor-man and former Likuena midfielder has been on the sidelines since he refused to undergo a drug test in October 2017.

Koetle was in 2017 set to appear before a disciplinary hearing that was to be convened by the Lesotho National Olympic (LNCO) in its capacity as the local National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO).

The player has also been side-lined from national duty pending finalisation of the case.

The LNOC was mandate by the World Anti-Doping Agency but Lioli challenged the matter through the country’s courts and winning the case to have its player back in action during the 2017/18 season.

However, Koetle has since been given the greenlight to return to action but must first be registered with the football authorities.

“I think we have to follow it up because our office is handling his registration so that he is available for selection at the weekend,” he said.

Meanwhile, pacesetters LCS will take on rejuvenated Likhopo also on Saturday. LCS coach Mpitsa Marai said he expects the Halemakale Mahlaha coached Likhopo to give his side a run for its money.

“What I can tell you is that our preparations are based on how Likhopo plays. It’s not a secret that it’s a team playing with confidence now that results are going their way.

“It will not be an easy game but we have planned well for them and have given our players an idea of what to expect.

“Our mindset is that LCS needs the points more than Likhopo but knowing they are seventh on the table with 17 points, they will also be looking to get maximum points which makes it a difficult game.

“We are also on top of the table with 30 points while they are making their way from the bottom and will be motivated to cause an upset,” he said.

Marai said they are desperate to remain at the top of the table as they are hungry to win the title.

“It’s very important for us to maintain that position. We have been taking every game as it comes and we are now focusing on the game against Likhopo before we can think of the next team.

“Teams have different styles and philosophies and it’s going to be a long season for us as the technical team to study and prepare for every team that we play,” Marai said.

Elsewhere, Matlama will be looking to keep pressure on LCS at the top of the table when they face Liphakoe in the first match of the double header at LCS Ground while Kick4Life will be the only side that will not be in action as their opponents for this weekend, Bantu are playing in the CAF Confederations Cup against Enugu Rangers of Nigeria.

Econet Premier League fixture

All Saturday

Lioli v Majantja

Liphakoe v Matlama

LCS v Likhopo

LDF v Galaxy

LMPS v Swallows

Sefotha-fotha v Linare

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