Bahlabani punished

MASERU — Lesotho’s Under-17s have been left with a mountain to climb after their 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Cameroon in a 2011 African Youth Championships qualifier at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday.

They will have to overturn the result in the reverse fixture in Cameroon next week if they are to remain in contention for a place at the finals of the continental youth tournament in Rwanda next year.

Bahlabani coach Bishop Molatoli was nearly reduced to tears after the loss which he blamed on poor preparations.

“We were unable to prepare for this game in a way we would have liked because of many injuries among the players,” Molatoli said.

“That is no excuse for losing but what I am trying to say is that until Thursday, we were unable to train intensively for this game.”

The home side found themselves 1-0 down after 29 minutes when Njiki Tchoutou drilled the ball into the net after connecting the visitors played a short corner.

Tchoutou added the visitors’ second four minutes later from the penalty spot after a Lesotho player handled in the box.

Bahlabani defender Malefane Sepiriti completed the rout on behalf of the West Africans when he beat his own goalkeeper with a header as he tried to clear a Cameroon attack.

Molatoli said Bahlabani would not have lost the match had they not made “small mistakes” during the game.

“We made many small mistakes that conveyed into goals and we will have to work hard for the return match in two weeks’ time,” he said.

Bahlabani could have rescued the game but Ts’eliso Ramathe and Motlalepula Chabeli fluffed the many scoring chances that came the home side’s way.

“Yet Cameroon could also have won by a wider margin had it not been for the acrobatics of Bahlabani goalkeeper Sello Thetsane.

Cameroon coach Richard Towa was elated by the away win.

“I am very happy because it is not easy in away matches to score three goals,” Towa said.

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