LIKUENA interim coach Leslie Notši says there is still a lot of work to be done despite his charges 3-2 triumph over South Africa in the first leg of their CHAN qualifier at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday.
Likuena started the match like a home team, scoring in the opening five minutes through Tšepo Seturumane forcing South Africa to chase for the game the entire first half.
Bafana Bafana’s efforts paid off on the stroke of half time as they levelled matters from the spot through skipper Tercious Malepe and the match went for the break on level terms.
Likuena knew they had to search for another goal to reclaim their lead in the second stanza and it didn’t take them long as Hlompho Kalake converted from the spot to send the crowd into frenzy.
Basotho’s happiness was however short-lived as South Africa capitalized on Likuena’s poor defending and second half substitute Luvuyo Phewa equalised.
Lehlohonolo Fothoane restored Likuena’s lead with two minutes left after a a moment of brilliance taking on two defenders before easily placing on the far right leaving Bafana goalkeeper Bongani Mpandle watching helplessly.
Notši was impressed with his team’s showing after the match but said there is still lot of work.
“The technical team is satisfied as the boys executed our game plan and that won us the match,” Notši said.
“We maintained our structure and they couldn’t penetrate us forcing them to the flanks.
“We had to attack more because we were playing at home and we scored three goals. Our players’ self-belief and confidence were high and that helped us.”
He admitted that there was a lot of pressure for him as the caretaker coach as Basotho were expecting a win.
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“This team had some new faces and surely Basotho had high expectations, so there was pressure, but the players didn’t disappoint as they played well. Rethabile Rasethuntsa (left back) and Lisema Lebokollane (anchor) were outstanding especially considering that they played in a packed stadium.
“There are areas where we still need to improve going into the second leg and defending is one of them.”
Notši said they would hit the ground running preparing for the second leg, which he anticipates will be tough.
“We need to forget about this win now and prepare for the second leg. They will be under pressure playing at home, so they are going to throw everything at us. We need to manage them and absorb that pressure while at the same time we need to work on scoring.
“Most importantly, I want to thank all Basotho who came in big numbers to support this team. We are happy that we made them happy and we will be looking forward to their support in coming matches,” Notši said.