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Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) coach MpitsaMarai was a disappointed man after his side’s 1-0 loss to Lioli in the final of the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 last Sunday at Setsoto stadium.

‘Masheshena’ were downed by Jeremea Kamela’s sublime second half free-kick and afterwards Marai felt his charges could have won the M100 000 grand prize.

According to Marai, LCS matched Lioli stride-for-stride but could not utilise their goal-scoring opportunities.

“We played well and we created chances, unfortunately we missed our chances. I think it was 50/50. We created as much chances as they did. I am happy with the performance of my players, they played according instructions. When you reach the final the aim is to win and I am disappointed, I thought we would win this one. It’s disappointing to lose,” Marai said after the final.

Marai’s consolation was being named coach of the tournament and walking away with M2000 after masterminding LCS’s run to the final which included knocking out reigning champions Bantu in the semi-finals.

The final itself was an exciting affair.

The atmosphere at Setsoto was suited for a cup final and the weather was forgiving. Both LCS and Lioli started well, pressing on the attack and creating chances from the get-go. However, both defences held firm and the first half ended goalless.

‘Masheshena’ winger Thabo Seakhoa was one of the top performers all weekend and he kept Lioli’s defence busy and his endeavours were unlucky not to yield a goal.

At the other end, Sehloho Motsamai helped keep LCS’s defence firm.

However, as the second half wore on, Lioli’s higher levels of match fitness and experience proved to be critical as they began to probe more menacingly, forcing LCS to commit fouls in dangerous zones.

It was perhaps unsurprising, that the cup-winning goal came from a free-kick after Masheshena were hounded into giving away another risky foul outside the box.

With the game in the balance, Kamela stepped up and fired a strike that was simply too good for goalkeeper Samuel Ketsekile.

Lioli coach Mosholi Mokhothu applauded his team afterwards.

It was their second win over LCS in three weeks after beating them 1-0 in a similarly crucial league game. Mokhothu said he knew Masheshena was not going to make life easy.

“It is not easy to beat one team twice, we played them in the league and won, so we knew this game was never going to be easy at all,” he said.

“Planning against LCS is not easy and we plan quite different for them because tactically they are much more disciplined. But, I am really happy we won,” he added.

Kamela’s wonder goal was chosen as the LNIG Top 8 goal of the tournament earning him M1 000 in addition to another M1000 for his man of the match award win the final.

But, that wasn’t all for the midfielder. Kamela bagged the player of the tournament award and M3000, which brought his weekend winnings to M5000.

Lioli striker Nkoto Masoabi, a scorer of a brace in the 5-0 semi-final thrashing of Lesotho Defence Force, shared the top goal-scorer award with Sandawana hit-man Raboama Koloti. Each striker received M1500.

Lioli’s stopper Kananelo Makhooane walked away with M2000 after he was named the goalkeeper of the tournament while Lebalang Mokete was named referee of the tournament.

The biggest winners, however, were Lioli who walked away with a trophy and a whopping M100 000.

thepost’s LNIG Top 8 Team of the tournament:

Goalkeeper:Kananelo Makhooane (Lioli)

Makhooane was questioned when he moved to Lioli at the start of the season because he was joining a team that already boasted Lesotho internationals Liteboho Mokhehle and Mohau Kuenane. However, the former Likhopo shot-stopper has proved critics wrong and staked a claim in Lioli’s starting line-up. He kept clean-sheets in the semi-final and final and was a safe pair of hands throughout the tournament.

Defenders:SehlohoMotsamai (LCS), Bokang Sello, Basia Makepe and Kopano Tseka (Lioli)

LCS right-back Motsamai constantly intercepted Lioli’s attacks in the final and ensured his side’s defence remained secure. Lioli could have scored more than one goal but were constantly denied by the defender.

Lioli’s rock-solid defence only leaked three goals throughout the entire tournament and kept LCS’s forwards at bay in the final. Sello, Makepe and Tseka all make thepost’s dream team and club-mate Mafa Moremoholo may feel hard done-by to be left out.

Midfielders:Jeremea Kamela, Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu) Thabo Seakhoa (LCS)

Without Seakhoa, ‘Masheshena’ are not the same team. The winger was the most influential player for LCS throughout the LNIG Top 8 and he inspired them to the final.

Strikers:Nkoto Masoabi (Lioli), Raboama Koloti (Sandawana)

Masoabi and Koloti shared the top goal-scorer award and they were the most dangerous strikers on show. Sandawana may have been knocked out in the quarterfinals, but Koloti was the best performer for the Butha-Buthe side scoring three goals in two games.

Coach: Mpitsa Marai (LCS)


Isaiah Mosala (Bantu), Molefe Lekoekoe (LDF), Montoeli Sonopo, Bushy Moletsane, Tumelo Khutlang (Lioli), Paul Moloi (LDF) Lieta Lehloka (LCS)

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Rabale eyes Champions League glory



Lesotho women’s team captain Boitumelo Rabale has her eyes on winning her second CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns as the tournament gets underway this weekend.
The third edition of the prestigious women’s club football is scheduled for Ivory Coast from November 5-19, where eight clubs will battle it out to be crowned Queens of the continent.

“Queen”, as the Lesotho star is commonly known, was part of the Sundowns squad that was crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the tournament held in Egypt two years ago, becoming the first player from the Mountain Kingdom to taste Champions League success.
She has become one of the key players in Jerry Tshabalala’s squad having walked away with the Hollywoodbets Player of the Season in the previous campaign and currently leads the goal-scoring charts with 21 goals.

“It was exciting to win the CAF Women’s Champions League with Sundowns two years ago and in the process becoming the first player from Lesotho to do so,” Rabale said.

“I felt very lucky and honoured to make history. It gave me confidence to continue working hard and strive for more success with the club”
Sundowns head to the tournament as regional champions after clinching the COSAFA qualifiers to qualify for the continental showpiece, where they will kickstart their campaign against Tanzania’s JKT Queens on Sunday.

Rabale admitted that memories of losing the last final to AS FAR still haunts them, but they head to Ivory Coast a better team than in the last tournament.

“We learnt the hard way when we lost in the final to AS FAR and we come back a better team having rectified our mistakes.

“It’s our dream to conquer the continent again and I have no doubt that we have what it takes to get our second star in Ivory Coast.

“It will be very good to add the second CAF Champions League medal to my trophy cabinet,” she said.

The 27-year-old has been prolific for Sundowns this campaign having scored nine goals in her last five matches to take her tally for this campaign to 21 goals.
Sundowns are in Group A alongside tournament hosts, Athletico Abidjan, Sporting Casablanca of Morocco, as well as Tanzania’s JKT Queen.

Since joining Sundowns in 2021, Rabale has won the Hollywoodbets Super League twice, the COSAFA Zonal qualifiers twice as well as the CAF Women’s Champions League and is the reigning Hollywoodbets Player of the season.

Tlalane Phahla

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Red Skins fail to raise funds for championship



Lesotho volleyball giants Red Skins have failed to raise funds for the 2023 Zone 6 Senior Indoor Volleyball Club Championship they are set to host in December.

Red Skins will host the competition together with four other local volleyball clubs – Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Station (LMPS) and Rivers – and the tournament is expected to start on December 7 and end 10 days later.

Without any funds or sponsors coming in, Red Skins will have to foot the bill from their pockets for the tournament which will see teams from 10 countries converge on Maseru.

Among the participating nations, Botswana is expected to bring the biggest contingent with 12 teams, with Zambia following closely behind with nine teams while Zimbabwe is set to be represented by six teams.

Two weeks ago, Red Skins participated in the Elite Cup in Gauteng, South Africa, which was hosted by Aqua Darshan Volleyball.
Red Skins hoped to win the tournament and return home with a hefty jackpot but they only collected M5 000 which was won by the men’s team.

A gala dinner that Red Skins hosted last weekend also failed to generate income due to low attendance and speaking to thepost on Tuesday, the club’s vice-captain, Moleboheng Mofolo, said they will have to push on with what they have to host the tournament.
Mofolo said they no longer have time to come up with other means to raise funds.

“Tournaments will require us to find sponsorships and we do not have time now, we have to focus and train well,” Mofolo said.

“Our coach already told us to camp from this week but rain is our biggest challenge because we cannot continue with the training,” she added.

Mofolo said Red Skins are fortunate that participating teams are going to take care of their accommodation and catering. She said if Red Skins had to provide those services, they would not have been able to manage.

She pleaded with individuals, organisations and companies to help the team, whether it is by offering accommodation, food, or whatever little they may have.

Tlalane Phahla

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Giants avoid each other in Top 4 clash



Women Super League (WSL) giants Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies and Kick4Life Ladies have avoided each other in the WSL Top 4 knockout competition.
The two-day showpiece takes centre stage this weekend at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena and it will see last season’s top four finishers in the league – LDF, Kick4Life, Lijabatho and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Ladies – go head-to-head for bragging rights.

The draw for the competition took place last Friday and the semi-finals will see LDF go up against Lijabatho while Kick4Life will take on LMPS Ladies.
Both semi-finals will be played on Saturday with the tournament culminating the following day.

Sunday’s proceedings will kick-off with a third-place playoff game to determine who walks away with the bronze medals before the final later in the day.
All four games over the two days will be streamed on the FIFA+ website and the WSL Top 4 will usher in a new sponsor this year.

In the past, the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) fully bankrolled the competition, however, Computer Business Solutions (CBS) has come on board with a sponsorship for the first time.

The competition’s prize monies have not been revealed because they are still being finalised, but, speaking at last Friday’s draw, LEFA’s associations secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said the relationship with CBS is one that sport should engage in.
Mohapi added his hopes that the relationship will be a long-term one.

“While others are busy at their thing, we should really grow ours so that when their distraction finally ends, they find us as united as we can be as the football community,” Mohapi said.
“(We should be) united by the efforts and inputs that emanate from the business community, especially when it is a truly Lesotho business entity because other (foreign entities) are here to take money,” he said.

Addressing CBS as the tournament’s sponsor, Mohapi said: “We are thankful as LEFA for your initiative; (we) hope you will be in this marriage quite long. We know we are just testing the waters but we have a lot that can entice you to stay longer, not only my command but the instruments that we have.”

Mohapi said LEFA’s dream is that in two years’ time all league matches will be streaming on the FIFA+ platform which was launched last April by football’s world governing body to increase exposure of men and women’s football around the globe.

Currently, only three grounds in the country have the structures for broadcasting; Bambatha as well as the grounds at LDF and Lesotho Correctional Service grounds, and all are in Maseru.
LEFA plans to add more grounds to the list with the DIFA facilities in Maputsoe and Mohale’s Hoek set to be the first to follow suit.

“All our women’s competitions, cup competitions and (Vodacom) Premier League matches that will be played in those stadia that have our infrastructure – we will be able to stream those games internationally,” Mohapi said.

“We have extended our footprint,” he added.

“We are now doing LDF – we have already put up the structure – then we are moving to Maputsoe and, hopefully, Mohale’s Hoek. It is our desire that in two years’ time we will hopefully cover all the matches and put them on the FIFA+ streaming platform.”

WSL Top 4 fixtures:
Saturday (Bambatha)
Lijabatho Ladies vs. LDF Ladies
LMPS Ladies vs. Kick4Life Ladies

Tlalane Phahla

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