LESOTHO once again stumbled and failed to make it into the COSAFA Cup final as they went down 2-1 against Botswana in the ongoing tournament in Durban, South Africa.
Likuena were last year knocked out in the semi-finals by the eventual winners Zimbabwe.
Botswana’s goals came from striker Joel Mogorosi and Segolame Boy while Lesotho’s consolation goal came from substitute Motebang Sera.
Botswana found its opener inside the opening 10 minutes with Mogorosi heading Mothusi Cooper’s cross over Nkau Lerotholi.
The Zebras continued to dominate Likuena and their efforts paid off on the half hour mark when Boy scored from outside the penalty area.
Lesotho made a first half substitute pulling out midfielder Sepirit Malefane for striker Sera five minutes before the break.
The substitute nearly eventually produced results for Lesotho as the side started looking dangerous in attack but Jane Thabantšo wasted a chance to cut down the lead shortly before the break as his shot unmarked inside the penalty area went wide.
Two minutes after the break, Lesotho made another change pulling out defender Thetsane Lesia for Thapelo Tale.
The last change came on the hour mark with Nkoto Masoabi making way for Lehlohonolo Fothoane whose introduction also brightened Mpitsa Marai’s side.
However, Lesotho only found a consolation goal towards the dying minutes of the match with Sera heading home Basia Makepe’s headed cross back from a Tshwarelo Bereng corner.
Lesotho’s last chance came on the 90th minute after Fothoane was fouled a few metres outside Botswana’s penalty area but Hlompho Kalake’s shot found the wall.
The loss dashed Marai’s hopes of making it to the semifinals both as a player (2000) and as a coach.
Marai said he was unhappy with the loss as his side conceded easy goals.
“We started slowly and we couldn’t connect with passes,” Marai said.
“Maybe it’s because we conceded early but again, those were silly goals that we were not supposed to concede.
“We will go back and try to regroup as the focus now shifts to third place,” Marai said.