MASERU — Lesotho yesterday bowed out of the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Championships in Botswana after Namibia beat South Africa 2-0 to claim Group B’s sole ticket to the semifinals.
The result meant Makoanyane XI’s 2-1 win over South Africa on Monday was rendered useless as Namibia went through thanks to a better goal difference.
Both Lesotho and Namibia ended the group phase on four points after they shared the spoils in their first match on Saturday.
But Namibia finished top because they conceded one goal less than Lesotho in the group matches.
It was a huge disappointment for Makoanyane XI who were eager to stamp their authority in the region after qualifying for next year’s African Under-20 Youth Championship in Libya.
Instead Makoanyane XI coach Leslie Notsi was left with a lot of homework ahead of the continental showcase after failing the litmus test in Botswana.
“We are very much disappointed but we gave our best shot in this tournament,” he told the Lesotho Times from Botswana last night.
“We must give credit to Namibia because they were very determined while the South Africans’ standard of play in (yesterday’s) match was just too low.”
Notsi said he was determined to fine-tune his team before they leave for Libya in March.
“We are coming home tomorrow (today) and for now we will look to the future,” he said.
Notsi found solace in the way his charges beat South Africa’s Amajita on Monday after throwing away their lead to draw two-all against Namibia two days earlier.
It was the third consecutive win for Makoanyane XI against their neighbours.
“SA dominated the game most of the first half but the boys managed to absorb the pressure,” Notsi said.
“They worked as a team willing to cover for each other’s mistakes throughout the game.”
“They are a team that is growing by each day,” he added.
“This shows they deserve to represent the southern region at next year’s games in Libya.”