MASERU-Lioli were held to a goalless draw by Zimbabwe's CAPS United in the CAF Champions League's first leg preliminary round at Setsoto Stadium on Saturday.
The home side's goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhehle made a brilliant save two minutes from the whistle when he denied United' striker Dominic Chungwa a goal.
Three minutes later Lioli's dribbling wizard Tumelo 'Makhopo' Khutlang was close to scoring but his well taken shot went wide.
United forced Lioli to play in their half as they were taking the game to the hosts in search of a goal but to no vail.
The seemingly 451 playing system Lioli had applied could not pose any threat to United who apparently opted for a 352 playing method.
The system by Lioli caused their lone striker, Ts'epo Lekhooana, not to cope up front where he could not dictate things alone as the visitors' defence shaped well behind him, thus forcing him to often make back passes when on ball possession instead of going forward.
Lioli also were not good in the midfield until Jerry Kamela was given the run in the second half, in place of Motlalepula Mofolo. They needed a tough marking player and a destroyer to keep the visitors under control.
Compared to Lioli, the visitors were fast and tough in all the areas. But they could not punish the latter as their defence was up to the task.
Lioli were again close to scoring two minutes before the end of the first half when Khutlang once again got a through pass. He was however denied by United's goalie, Edmore Sibanda.
The second half was different from the first, with both teams taking the game to each other alike.
But the home side could not score, even after Junior Maba was introduced in place of Lekhoana who seemed tired.
Lioli had to replace veteran midfielder Bushi Moletsane in the dying minutes of the game after he sustained an injury. His place was taken by Obakeng Modirwa.
However, it was too late for Modirwa to help Lioli win the match. The second leg is set for Harare, Zimbabwe this coming Saturday.