Home Sport Huge opportunity lost

Huge opportunity lost

by Lesotho Times

Mikia Kalati

LIKUENA’S dream of making it to their debut Africa Cup of Nations was shattered after Moses Maliehe’s side played drew 0-0 with Cape Verde on Sunday.

Lesotho needed a win against the Blue Sharks to rewrite the history of local football but failed to rise to the occasion.

Likuena would have gone through had Tanzania drawn against Uganda on the same day but the Taifa Stars were emphatic thumping the Cranes 3-0 in what has become a suspicious game.

Prior to the final matches of Group L, Tanzania had been the weakest team in the group and had struggled to grind results in earlier matches.

However, we cannot blame other teams for our failure to utilise a good chance. Likuena were simply not good enough on the day.

The way the team played showed that we were in search of a draw and we neither had the urgency nor the plan to get more than that.

After the draw was conducted last year, this seemed to be the best chance for our side in a long time to make history and qualify for the prestigious competition for the first time.

Our game plan was poor and the team did little or nothing to show that they wanted the three points.

Likuena sat back from the word go and defended throughout the game instead of an offensive plan to secure the much-needed win to qualify.

It was heartbreaking to get so close but get nothing in the end.

Of course, there were a lot of positives throughout the qualifying campaign since we lost only to Uganda both at home and away.

We have to thank the coach Moses Maliehe and his team for making us believe that we have the quality to compete for a spot in the prestigious competition though things didn’t work out in the end and naturally, it was always going to come with a disappointment.

Despite all the positives, we cannot take away the fact that Likuena blew away a very good opportunity to change our fortunes in continental football is concerned.

The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) and Likuena must now go back to the drawing board and find a way forward.

We have a chance of redeeming ourselves by going all out to qualify for the African Nations Championship (CHAN), where Likuena will face South Africa over two legs later this year.

There is also the COSAFA Cup and the team must improve on last season’s third place finish.

With that said, I now want to switch my attention to the MGC Sports Extravaganza that took place in Mantšonyane last weekend.

It was indeed refreshing that for a change we had a football competition as well as a half-marathon hosted outside Maseru and was able to attract a good crowd.

It was exciting to see such a big crowd while the athletes also lived up to the expectations from the marathon early on the day and the three soccer matches that were played on the day.

For that, I would like to take my hat off to MGC founder, Ntate Sam Matekane, and his team for agreeing to sponsor the event, which without a doubt has done a lot to improve the standards of sports in the country.

The money received by the teams as well as the athletes will surely come in handy as the football and athletics seasons continue.

I confident that Ntate Matekane and his company will come on board to officially sponsor one of the football competitions in the country and also continue with their sponsorship for the Bocheletsane marathon.


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