More must be done to improve women’s soccer

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Leemisa Thuseho

A LOT needs to be improved to make a positive impact with Lesotho’s female soccer, LDF Ladies’ coach, Lengana Nkhethoa, has said.

Nkhethoa said this in the aftermath of his charges’ dismal performance which saw them being booted out of the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Champions’ League in Durban.

The tournament will also serve as a qualifying event for 2021 CAF Women’s Champions’ League.

LDF finished bottom of their four-team group with just one point from three games.

The team lost 6-0 to the tournament favourites Mamelodi Sundowns in their first game before drawing one-all with Manzini Wanderers. They then suffered another 6-0 loss to Double Action in their last group game on Monday.

A win against Double Action could have seen LDF advancing to the semi-finals. Mamelodi Sundowns and Double Action qualified for semi-finals as first and second respectively.

Nkhethoa’s assessment is that Lesotho is still far behind in terms of women’s football even after the national team’s humiliating performance in the COSAFA tournament last year.

“Things did not go as expected and we failed to advance to the semi-finals,” Nkhethoa said.

“Our football is still behind in a number of respects and I think it is high time that our players understand that whenever they leave the country for competitions, they are going to compete and not to just add numbers. This should apply to club both clubs and national teams.”

The major challenge, he thinks, is the lack of technical and tactical skills for women’s football.

“What must be done is to work on their technics and tactics otherwise we are much better than other countries. We struggle tactically, and if players fail to execute a few simple tasks and struggle to play as a team, it means there is a problem. However, physically; I think we are getting there.”

Local players also need psychological fitness to progress.

“Most of the players in the team were part of the Mehalalitoe side that played in the COSAFA last year and they showed all the signs of lack of self-confidence. That is a sensitive part that we should work on starting from the grassroots. Our players must understand that despite coming from a poor country like Lesotho, they can still be victorious,” Nkhethoa said.

 

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