Lioli on Zim  spying mission

Lioli on Zim spying mission

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Vodacom Premier League champions Lioli have sent a two-man mission to Zimbabwe to spy on CAF Champions League opponents CAPS United.

Lioli were drawn to meet the Zimbabwean champions in the preliminary stages of the continental club competition last month.

The delegation left the country on Sunday and is expected back this weekend.
Lioli communications and marketing manager Tšeliso Lerata said the main purpose of the trip is to study the strengths, weaknesses and style of play of CAPS United.
CAPS United are returning to the continental showpiece after an 11-year absence but Lerata said Lioli are not underestimating their opponents despite their limited experience in the CAF Champions League.

Lerata said the only information ‘Tse Nala’ have on their opponents so far is from the internet. “We have been researching about them and we are still looking to get videos so we can see how they play,” Lerata said. “But, most importantly, this year we are doing things differently and we are very serious. We have sent two people to Zimbabwe to study how they play: their strengths as well as their weaknesses. We are expecting them to come back on the 8th of January.”

Lioli will be making their third appearance in the CAF Champions League.
In 2014, ‘Tse Nala’ lost 3-2 on aggregate to Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto before succumbing on away goals to Vital’O of Burundi last year after a 2-2 aggregate score-line.
Lerata said this is the first time Lioli have sent scouts to watch their opposition.
“We have never done this and no team (from Lesotho) has ever done that. This shows we are serious and intending to win the game,” Lerata said.

He added: “What we have realised is that they waited for a very long time to win the league but do not mistake them, they are one of the three biggest teams in the Zimbabwean league and the fact they took a long time without winning the league title means nothing.”
“One other thing we have noticed about them is that they do not have a clear development structure which is why you see a lot of Zimbabwean players in the South African league. They produce a lot of good players who are stars in the (South African Premier Soccer League), so we cannot take them for granted.”

Lioli are slated to host the first leg at Setsoto Stadium on February 10, 11 or 12 before travelling to Zimbabwe a week later for the second leg.
Should Lioli manage to navigate their way past CAPS United they will face a stern test in the form of Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe for a place in the lucrative group stages where US$550 000, roughly M7.6 million, is guaranteed.
Lioli’s record in the Champions League:

08/02/14: Primeiro de Agosto 2-0 Lioli
16/02/14: Lioli 2-1 Primeiro de Agosto

14/02/16: Lioli 1-2 Vital’O
28/02/16: Vital’O 0-1 Lioli

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