Bantu booted out

Bantu booted out

MASERU – Lesotho champions Bantu have been dumped out of the CAF Champions League in heartbreaking fashion despite winning 3-1 against Swazi giants Mbabane Swallows.

It was the away goals rule that came back to bite Bantu.
Needing to score at least three goals to have any chance of progressing after a 4-2 first leg home loss, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ did the first part but couldn’t keep their back door shut in Swaziland.

The defeat is the latest in a series of disappointments for Lesotho in Africa’s flagship club competition.
Just two years ago, Lioli suffered the same away goals agony in a preliminary stage loss to Burundi’s Vital’O.
It means the country’s miserable record of not having a side progress to the first round of the competition since Lesotho Defence Force in 2002 will continue for another year.

Despite their devastating first leg loss, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ were bullish heading into the return leg and head coach James Madidilane insisted they will “try by all means possible” to steal an improbable win from Swaziland.
Madidilane stayed true to his words naming an extremely attacking line-up featuring no less than five offence minded players – Ramasimong Maloisane, Hlompho Kalake, Tsietsi Motšeare, Litšepe Marabe and Tsebang Lebata.

Madidilane’s bravery on the day was rewarded when Lebata, Marabe and Kalake scored to bring Bantu back from an early 1-0 deficit.
However, with the scores tied at 5-5 on aggregate, the Mafeteng giants needed one more goal to qualify.

Despite desperate and valiant efforts from of an increasingly nervous Somhlolo Stadium, that goal never came.
Mbabane Swallows’ four away goals were more than Bantu’s three and the away goals rule came back to haunt Lesotho once again.

Bantu starting line-up against Mbabane Swallows:

Selisa, Falene, Mokhehle, Molapo, Khooa, Phungulwa, Maloisane, Kalake, Motšeare, L. Marabe, Lebata.

Luciah Phahla

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