Bantu, Lioli renew rivalry

Bantu, Lioli renew rivalry

MASERU – Econet Premier League juggernauts Lioli and Bantu renew their rivalry on Sunday as the two giants of Lesotho football go head-to-head in their first battle of the season at Setsoto Stadium.
Both teams are under new coaches and although Bob Mafoso has made a great start to life with the Mafeteng giants, the same cannot be said about Thabile Secker with Lioli.

Secker guided Matlama to a historic 10th league title last season but his start as Lioli coach has not been as successful. ‘Tse Nala’ lost 1-0 to Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) on the opening day of the campaign and then endured a frustrating goalless draw against Kick4Life.
Lioli finally won their first game of the season this past weekend against Swallows which came as a timely confidence booster for Sunday’s epic clash against Bantu.

Secker admitted his side’s indifferent start to the campaign is down to several factors including the hefty number of players the club brought in during the offseason.
The Lioli coach said the players are still getting to know each other but insisted the squad is gelling better with each game and training session.
“I think players improve game by game, we have a lot of new players that came in and when you a play lot of games and every training session they improve and know each other and also when it comes to team spirit we can learn about one another,” Secker said.

Despite rivals Bantu coming into Sunday’s blockbuster in superior form, Secker was bullish saying Lioli cannot run away from such games or choose when they should be played.
He said it is up to ‘Tse Nala’ to plan well and get the results they want in order to build momentum.
“(The game) came at the right time, we knew it was coming, you can’t say it came too early or what because three points are the same, it doesn’t matter whether we get them against Swallows or Bantu.

“For me all the teams in the Premier League are big and we treat every team like it is a big team so I think it is the right time to play Bantu. All we have to do is to plan our approach to the game. We want three points,” Secker said.
The Lioli mentor said the only players ruled out for the game are those that are yet to receive their registration cards.

Despite some injury scares in their victory against Swallows, Secker said he is expecting everyone to be available for Sunday’s showdown.
Lioli are fourth in the Econet Premier League after collecting four points from three games played. Bantu are second. ‘A Matšo Matebele’ have only played two games and have won both without conceding a goal.
“Everyone is available for the game,” Secker said.

“We nearly had some injuries on the weekend (against Secker) but I think they will be fine. I was surprised that Swallows can be that rough, I don’t know them like that. But everyone is available, except for the players that we are still waiting for their registration cards.”

Tlalane Phahla



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