Mokhothu needs King Solomon’s wisdom for Lioli to win in Burundi



Mikia Kalati

When King Solomon was faced with two women who both claimed to be the mother of the baby before him, he proposed the infant be cut in half for the ladies to each take a share.

The wise King knew the mother most distraught by this suggestion would be the true parent of the toddler.

But while this trick worked for the Biblical King, it seems unlikely to do the same  for Lioli coach Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu when Tse Nala travel to Burundi for Sunday’s preliminary round, second leg match of the African Champions League against Vital’Ô .

Tse Nala lost 1-2 to the Burundi side in the first leg match played at Setsoto stadium a fortnight ago, and face an uphill task to upstage Vital’Ô  in their own backyard and progress to the next stage of the continental showcase.

I feel Lioli lost the plot in the first leg match in which they could not take advantage of home ground, and allowed Vital’Ô  to score two crucial away goals.

That scoreline makes it very difficult for Lioli to come back into it , which is why I believe Mokhothu would need to be brave and have the wisdom of King Solomon so he could plot Vital’Ô’s unlikely downfall in Bujumbura at the weekend.

It will be very interesting to see how Mokhothu is going to play his cards in this reverse tie because Lioli have been so dominant on the local scene that they are not used to playing second fiddle.

Perhaps Mokhothu’s biggest challenge will be getting his selection right because he has so many talented players at his disposal. But again, most of his star players failed to rise to the occasion in the 2-1 loss at Setsoto.

The coach must first instill self-belief in his players so that they go out there knowing they are good enough to beat their foes even on their own turf.

Again, Lioli players would have to give more than they did in the first leg match where they lacked the vital sense of urgency despite having home advantage.

I also feel Bushy Moletsane, who is still recovering from a groin injury, will once again be missed in this match.

There is no doubt the veteran midfielder is still irreplaceable and is one player who has always brought something special to Lioli.

Unfortunately, the linkman’s injury could signal the end of his long career and Mokhothu would have to come up with another plan to break Vital’Ô  and get the desperately needed goals.

Obakeng Modirwa has since been tasked with the responsibility of taking the role of a playmaker in the Lioli starting line-up in the absence of Moletsane, but he has not really lived up to expectations. He would have to do better if he gets the nod to start again this Sunday because he was very disappointing in the first leg match.

Surely Vital’Ô  have a huge advantage going into the second leg match, but football is a game of surprises and anything can happen in Burundi.

For the sake of our football, I hope Lioli will do something that we have never seen before and progress to the first round of this competition.

But again, this will depend on the attitude of the players because they must be prepared to win this do-or-die tie at all costs.

On a different and very sad note, I would like to wish Liphakoe players and their officials a speedy recovery after the car they were travelling in from their league match against Kick4Life last Sunday, was involved in an accident.

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