MASERU – Former league champions Lioli have blamed their misery this season on the constant absence of key striker Montoeli Sonopo.
Lioli lie a lowly seventh on the Vodacom Premier League log with a measly 15 points after 10 games.
The Teyateyaneng giants have only tested victory four times this season scoring just 14 goals.
The team’s defence has also been unusually generous letting in 10 goals so far.
The club trail leaders LDF by a massive eight points.
With this poor form Lioli’s dream of recapturing the league title they last won in 2009 looks a distant mirage.
Lioli public relations officer, Moeketsi Pitso, laid the blame squarely on Sonopo’s absence.
The youngster is a key cog in the national Under-17 and Under-20 teams.
Sonopo has also featured consistently for the Under-23 team.
Pitso told the Lesotho Times last Friday that his team was struggling due to the constant absence of Sonopo.
“The team is really struggling and is being killed by the absence of its key player who plays for the Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 national teams,” Pitso said.
“We currently need a player of Montoeli’s calibre and with his constant absence due to too many international games, we are performing badly.”
He added that Lioli coaches were finding it difficult to build a competitive side without Sonopo.
“The absence of Sello ‘Muso and other players has forced us to build a team based on Montoeli’s presence,” Pitso said.
“If he is not around, it makes things very difficult because we build the team around him,” Pitso said.
He said the club were currently working to find a solution to the problem.
“We are currently working on a strategy to improve without Montoeli because his absence is negatively affecting Lioli’s performance,” he said.
Pitso said the club however believes that Sonopo “should be given the chance to spread his wings” on national duty.