Lioli sharpen swords  for soldiers

Lioli sharpen swords for soldiers

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Lioli coach Halemakale Mahlaha says the champions are taking it one game at a time as they head into Sunday’s crucial Vodacom Premier League encounter against Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) at Setsoto stadium.

‘Tse Nala’ are second on the log, just one point behind leaders Bantu, and Mahlaha insisted they do not want to put themselves under pressure to beat LDF.

LDF are known for their physical style of play but Mahlaha said it is a blessing in disguise as Lioli prepare for next month’s CAF Champions League tie against Zimbabwe’s CAPS United.
Although Mahlaha was coy on how Lioli will approach LDF, he said ‘Sohle-Sohle’ will not be a walk in the park.

“I cannot say what their weaknesses are before we play, despite their physicality,” Mahlaha said.
“There are individual tactics, team tactics and there is a chance to employ different tactics varying on the game situation.”

“There is no pressure for us,” he added.
“We want to take it and focus on one game at a time. Like I said before, this game (against LDF) is part of our preparations for the Champions League. It is not only LDF that is quite physical; there is Lesotho Mounted Police Service who we play in two weeks’ time as well. It will help us in our preparations.”

Lioli are facing a congested fixture list in February with the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 and CAF Champions League in addition to the league but Mahlaha is confident ‘Tse Nala’ will survive the pile-up. He said Lioli will rotate players to avoid fatigue.

“We have a large pool of players to select from and we will try to rotate the players in order to avoid fatigue and any injuries that can affect us. So, I don’t think these fixtures will affect us that much,” Mahlaha said.

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