When passion  outfoxes tactics

When passion outfoxes tactics

MASERU – Lesotho Mounted Police Service’s (LMPS) 1-0 victory over Lioli on Sunday was a story of passion outfoxing tactics.
After the match LMPS head coach, Seephephe Matete, was beaming ear-to-ear as he breathed a sigh of relief following a hard-fought victory at Ha Ratjomose.

A defeat would have piled unwanted pressure on the star-studded police force team who went into the game languishing in 13th place in the Vodacom Premier League but ‘Simunye’ can now look forward to their next game with hope that this is the beginning of getting things right and building momentum.

A solitary strike from Tšoanelo Mokoaleli was enough to ensure victory for LMPS who are now sitting a little prettier in eighth place with seven points from six games.

Mokoaleli’s goal came in the first half and was a reward for the pressure ‘Simunye’ had been putting on Lioli.
LMPS were first to every loose ball and won everything in the air.
All game Matete’s side would not allow Lioli to play their normal game of short killer passes and fast build-ups. At every turn LMPS made it look as if Lioli could play for another 90 minutes and not score.

Matete credited hard work, determination, hunger and passion for LMPS’s victory. He said it was about which team needed the three points more and his players went into the field knowing they would claim the win if they gave it their all.

“We talked as a team that we have to win this game, for us it was about determination more than tactics and we won because of that,” the LMPS coach said.
Matete said it was important for his charges to bounce back after being outclassed by Bantu in their previous premiership outing.
“Sometimes in football you use your brain, sometimes your heart and this one needed a heart because if we lost a second match when you go to a third game you have no confidence,” he said.

Lioli head coach Mosholi Mokhothu had been wary of LMPS all week.
He knew that after LMPS’s humiliating defeat to Bantu they would come hard at ‘Tse Nala’. He knew Matete would not want two straight defeats and that the LMPS coach would not need to motivate his players for the game because their season was at stake.

For his part, Matete knew Lioli had momentum and confidence going into the game. ‘Tse Nala’ had won two successive games scoring eight goals and only conceding two in the process.
LMPS’s plan was to neutralise Lioli’s danger-men, chiefly Tumelo Makha who was a hattrick hero against Manonyane last time out.
Makha did not even get a sniff at goal at Ha Ratjomose but Switbirth Kum did come close to scoring and should have.

It looked easier to score than to miss when LMPS goalkeeper Sekhoane Moerane spilled the ball at Kum’s feet. All the striker had to do was finish the gift but his shot went wide and all he could do was to bury his head in his hands; he knew he had fluffed a golden opportunity.
Despite looking second best all afternoon it is never football if there is no drama and Lioli felt they should have at least claimed a point from the match.

In the second half Lioli thought they had a penalty when Kum was fouled and the referee pointed to the spot.
However, after consultation with his assistant and furious protests from LMPS, he changed his mind and awarded Lioli a free-kick instead.
Kum’s theatrics of rolling around as if he had been shot may have deceived the referee into thinking it was a spot-kick but it did look as though the foul was just outside the box.

Mokhothu did not care. The Lioli coach was fuming that the penalty was taken away from his side and he accused LMPS players of influencing the referee.
In the end, despite twice coming close to scoring, Lioli left empty-handed and dropped to fifth in the Vodacom Premiership.

Tlalane Phahla

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