Humiliated  Likuena back home

Humiliated Likuena back home

MASERU –The Lesotho national team Likuena arrived back in the country yesterday after playing two international friendly games Botswana and Namibia. Both games ended in defeat for Likuena with Moses Maliehe’s charges losing 1-0 to Botswana in Gaborone last Saturday and 2-1 to Namibia in Windhoek on Tuesday.

The friendly matches were part of Lesotho’s preparations for the 2018 COSAFA Castle Cup which will be held in South Africa from May 17.
One positive Maliehe can take is the side’s newfound resilience away from home. Likuena lost to Botswana thanks to an 86th minute goal and took the lead against Namibia before succumbing to a late show by the hosts.
It was Motebang Sera who drew first blood against Namibia to put Lesotho ahead in the first half, an advantage the side maintained until half-time break.

However, Likuena could not defend their lead as Namibia drew level through Vitapi Ngaruku before Benson Shilongo sealed a win for the home side as Likuena’s two game tour ended in defeat. After the COSAFA Cup, Likuena will be back in business in September as they try to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be held in Cameroon.

Lesotho has never qualified for the continental showpiece but is looking to make it for the first time in the newly-revamped 24-team tournament format. Likuena are in Group L with Uganda, Cape Verde and Tanzania.
Last year, Lesotho met Tanzania in Dar es Salaam in the first match of the qualifiers and managed to salvage a point thanks to Thapelo Tale’s 35th minute strike.

The national side is second on the Group L log behind Uganda. Likuena were supposed to have hosted Cape Verde this month in the second round of the qualifiers but the matches have been moved to September due to Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia’s participation in the FIFA World Cup in June.

Luciah Phahla

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