Lioli coach blames immaturity for exit

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Lioli coach blames immaturity for exit

By Moorosi Tsiane

MASERU — Lioli coach Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu has blamed “immaturity and lack of exposure” for his side’s early exit from the 2014 African Champions League competition.

The Teyateyaneng-based outfit were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto, thereby failing to make it past the preliminary round of the lucrative continental competition, in which the winner pocketsa whopping M10 million.

Mokhothu told the Lesotho Times his charges played according to instruction in Sunday’s return fixture at the Setsoto Stadium which they won 2-1, but paid dearly for their 2-0 first-leg loss in Luanda two weeks ago.

He said with better composure, Lioli could have beaten the 10-time Angolan league champions.
“We played well; we executed our game plan well and created lots of scoring chances, but our poor finishing cost us the match,”Mokhothu said.

On Sunday, Lioli conceded an early goal following a goalkeeping blunder which resulted in Ibukin Akinfonwa putting the visitors ahead in the second minute. But Tšoanelo Koetle’s 21st minute penalty leveled matters, with Bokang Sello scoring a stunner in the 80th minute to ensure a nail-biting finale to the tie.

Mokhothu, who led LCS twice in this tournament, said his experience had taught him it was always an advantage to play the first leg at home.

Lioli coach blames immaturity for exit

By Moorosi Tsiane

MASERU — Lioli coach Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu has blamed “immaturity and lack of exposure” for his side’s early exit from the 2014 African Champions League competition.

The Teyateyaneng-based outfit were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto, thereby failing to make it past the preliminary round of the lucrative continental competition, in which the winner pocketsa whopping M10 million.

Mokhothu told the Lesotho Times his charges played according to instruction in Sunday’s return fixture at the Setsoto Stadium which they won 2-1, but paid dearly for their 2-0 first-leg loss in Luanda two weeks ago.

He said with better composure, Lioli could have beaten the 10-time Angolan league champions.
“We played well; we executed our game plan well and created lots of scoring chances, but our poor finishing cost us the match,”Mokhothu said.

On Sunday, Lioli conceded an early goal following a goalkeeping blunder which resulted in Ibukin Akinfonwa putting the visitors ahead in the second minute. But Tšoanelo Koetle’s 21st minute penalty leveled matters, with Bokang Sello scoring a stunner in the 80th minute to ensure a nail-biting finale to the tie.

Mokhothu, who led LCS twice in this tournament, said his experience had taught him it was always an advantage to play the first leg at home.

“Playing the first-leg match at home is an advantage as it helps the players to settle and relax in the return fixture if they would have won the first tie. That is exactly what happened with Primeiro de Agosto, and at the end, progressed to the next stage at ourexpense,” Mokhothu, said.

Mokhothu also believes with better prepa rations, Lioli would have done better.
“It is a different ball-game altogether when it comes to club football. We should have played several international friendly matches prior to meeting Primeiro de Agosto, but we did not, which I strongly feel worked against us.

“We only had one friendly against Free State Stars in Bethlehem, which was not enough, considering the tournament we were taking part in.”

Mokhothu also said the early goal conced- ed affected the team’s game-plan.

“The plan was not to concede and it some- how put the players under pressure and they ended up committing some silly mistakes,” he said, adding the issue of professionalism among the players was yet another setback.

“Our players are not serious in their approach to the game, compared to their counterparts from other countries.

“They still play as if it is mere entertain ment and unless this attitude changes, Lesotho sides will always be the whipping boysof other teams in these continental competitions.

“The football association, Lefa, as well as all the teams in Lesotho, must work hard to ensure our game turns professional and players earn their living solely through soccer. But at the moment, you find that some players fail to attend training sessions due to work-commitments, while others are un- employed and cannot even afford basics such as boots.”

Meanwhile, Mokhothu said Lioli are now shifting their focus to the Top 8 tournament and the domestic league.

“We must make sure the players maintain the momentum they showed in this game when they face LDF in the (Lesotho National Insurance Group) Top 8 semi-final on Satur- day.”

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