MASERU — Lioli have been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks and now their executive committee has been banned from football activities for four years.
Yet Tse Nala coach Mosholi Mokhothu remains confident the league kings can overhaul Matlama’s lead and join the elite band of clubs that have successfully defended the championship.
Matlama, Linare, LDF, Likhopo and LCS have done it before.
Lioli, second on the Vodacom Premier League log with 45 points, are 10 points behind Matlama although they have a game in hand.
This Saturday they face Lerotholi at the Central Prisons, with Matlama playing third-placed LDF across town at Ratjomose.
And Mokhothu says Lioli are ready to pounce on any slip-ups by Matlama.
“The news has affected the club but to my surprise the attitude of the players hasn’t changed,” Mokhuthu said about the ban of the Lioli board.
“They say their job is on the field and if Matlama slip up we will be ready to take advantage.”
“We can still win the league,” he said.
“If they (Matlama) win their next three games then I might say something different but for now we are still fighting hard for the title.”
Matlama have a tough run-in.
After LDF, Matlama will take on Likhopo, Lioli, Mphatlalatsane and Joy before an end-of-season date with LCS at Central Prisons.
Lioli too, with tricky trips to Likhopo and Linare, don’t have it easier although they have a good record against their next two opponents — Lerotholi and LDF.
“There is pressure on Matlama but in football when a team have this kind of form they are hard to stop,” Mokhothu said.
Meanwhile, Botha-Bothe Roses vice-secretary Tabai Motuba said the team will continue to fight until the end of the season.
The side were relegated on Sunday when they were defeated at home 2-0 by LDF, their 19th loss of the season.
Roses can only muster 27 points if they win their remaining games.
Swallows, in 12th position and occupying the last safe position, already have 28 points.
“We are still fighting to win all our games,” Motuba said.
“We have failed to convert our chances and we are not as bad as the statistics suggest.”
On Saturday Roses visit 13th-placed Nyenye Rovers who need all three points to keep their survival hopes alive.
Elsewhere Bantu will look to get their campaign for a top-four finish back on track when they host Mphatlalatsane.
Saturday: LMPS vs Joy (Old Europa), Nyenye Rovers vs Botha-Bothe Roses (Maputsoe), Swallows vs LCS (Mazenod) Majantja vs Likhopo (Mohale’s Hoek),
Sunday: Lerotholi vs Lioli (Central Prisons), Rovers vs Linare (Hlotse), LDF vs Matlama (Ratjomose), Bantu vs Mphatlalatsane (Mafeteng).
Monday: Joy vs Nyenye Rovers (Sebothoane), Likhopo vs Lerotholi (Central Prisons).