By: Lilemo Matlotlo
Alliance Winter Challenge defending champions Lioli Football Club (Tse Nala) has booked their sport in Alliance Winter Challenge finals after walloping Lesotho Correctional Service Football Club (Masheshena) 2-1, on Saturday at Setsoto Stadium.
The game started with a low tempo in the first five minutes of the opening half with both sides find it hard to penetrate the backline of neither side.
Afterwards, Masheshena took a game from Tse Nala with a storm, with Sepiriti Malefane being a playmaker; distributing world-class passes to the attackers in a bid to get an opener.
As a result of exerting much pressure on Tse Nala, Masheshena attacker Boseka Musiuoa got a loose ball in the area after he sneaked in between the defence but Lioli’s goalie, Matsie Jessy denied him from one-on-one position.
However, Masheshena’s long time ball possession dominance was paid off in half an hour mark of the opening half as Refiloe Mothae curled home just outside the edge of the box to give his side 1-0 lead.
From there, Masheshena kept on pressing Lioli in their own half forcing them to commit mistakes in attempt to add another goal.
Nevertheless, the introduction of Sonopo Motoeli in the second half brought Tse Nala into a game as he was confidently knocking the ball in the middle of the park, making wonderful movements and passes going forward.
Lioli got an equalizer in 10th minute of the second half following Tsietsi Motšeare’s world-class pass releasing Sweetbirth Kum, who taped-in from one-on-one position.
Later on, Masheshena got their momentum back after bringing in Keketso Snyders who was causing Tse Nala’s defence a night whenever he holds the ball.
In the remaining 15 minutes of the second stanza, Malefane could have restored Masheshena’s lead after he was set on in an open net by Snyders but he could not hold longer on the ball as Mafa Moremoho cleared it away from his foot.
At the end Lioli claimed a victory after Sonopo took a heavy shot from the set play which was finished by Bushy Moletsane giving Tse Nala 2-1 win.
After the game Lioli head coach Mr. Thabile Secker admitted that his side didn’t perform well though he said he is happy with the victory.
Secker added that the tournament (Alliance Winter Challenge) is meant to give them a chance to prepare for the league. He said he was grateful on how his side played their first match of the tournament.
Meanwhile, this publication’s efforts to get Masheshena’s coach comment about the game went fruitless.