King Letsie III officiated at the handing over of 2016 Independence Cup trophy to newly crowned champions Lioli at Setsoto stadium on Sunday. The tournament, which forms part of a series of events to commemorate the 50 years of Lesotho’s independence was held on 22nd and 23rd November and co-sponsored by Standard Lesotho Bank and Metropolitan to the tune of M800,000.00.
Ts'oanelo Koetle scored the vital and only goal of the match at the stroke of regulation against Matlama at the final. He capitalised on the loss of concentration from Matlama who nearly scored through Jane Thabants'o who missed a clear cut chance and just a few seconds Lioli managed to take full advantage of the set back from Matlama.
Lioli's Coach Mr. Halemake Mahlaha guided the 'Mamathe based outfit to his first trophy hardly three months after being handed at the reins at the helm as coach after taking over from former coach Mr. Mosholi Mokhothu at the beginning of the season.
Lioli on the other side reached the final after walloping Sandawana 4-1 in another semi-final after Tsepo Lekhooana's hat trick that made him win the Top goalscorer award. The victory over Matlama ensured that Lioli takes home the M100,000 prize money plus a bonus M50,000 special prize to commemorate the fifty years of Lesotho’s golden jubilee from the sponsors. Tse nala also took home gold medals and the trophy while Matlama settled for the M60,000 plus silver medals.
We are extremely delighted that Matlama and Lioli gave us a thriller for the final and it is certainly a fitting tribute for Lesotho’s Golden Jubilee to commemorate our independence in style.” Commented Mr. Mpho Vumbukani, the Chief Executive of Standard Lesotho Bank. Mr. Vumbukani went on to say that as sponsors, they are happy to have contributed to the wider national celebrations through football which brings Basotho together. The Chief Executive concluded by conveying his gratitude to Basotho who turned up in their thousands to watch the two day tournament.
Spectators were entertained by the cream of local talent in the likes of internationally acclaimed Tsepo 'The Village Pope'” Tshola and Bhudaza Mapefane as well as Fatere Litabe.
Deputy Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation Mrs. 'Marefuoe 'Muso was also among the dignitaries who witnessed the final.