Lesotho maintains position in AFCON qualifiers

Lesotho maintains position in AFCON qualifiers

MASERU – Lesotho’s 1-1 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying draw with Cape Verde on Sunday at Setsoto Stadium leaves Likuena where they were before the game kicked off – in second place in Group L.
Four more qualifiers remain on the road to Cameroon 2019.
And, judging from Sunday’s tie, Lesotho coach Moses Maliehe will have plenty of negatives to resolve and positives to build on for those four deciding qualifiers.
Here are our Likuena player ratings against Cape Verde.
Player ratings (on a scale of 10):
Likano Mphuthi – 9

The Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) goalkeeper was absolutely fantastic on Sunday and saved Lesotho on numerous occasions when Cape Verde looked certain to score. Mphuthi definitely will draw confidence from his performance going forward into Likuena’s next qualifiers against Uganda next month. The keeper was definitely the man of the match to many in attendance at Setsoto and probably to his teammates as well.

Basia Makepe, Nkau Lerotholi, Mafa Moremoholo, Bokang Sello (each 5)
Sometimes it is unfair to judge players when opponents are dominating but, based on their first half display, Likuena’s defence was lucky to get away with murder.
Many times there were too many spaces between the back four and they allowed the visitors to get in behind them. Lesotho was lucky the lapses didn’t lead to a goal.
The defensive performance improved slightly in the second half but, after Likuena took a 75th minute lead, the defence failed to come to the party and leaked a late equaliser.

Leftback Sello delivered a few crosses into the penalty box but they were fruitless as the visitors won every aerial ball. On the other flank, Mafa had a nightmare in the first half. Cape Verde’s wingers blazed past him as if he was not there. It was the first time seeing Moremoholo putting a performance like that and he gets a rating of 5. The two central defenders – Lerotholi and Makepe – also got away with several elementary errors.

Luciano Matsoso – 7
Matsoso had some nice touches but maybe had too many touches at times. The newly-acquired Black Leopards winger should have scored in the 46th minute but shot straight at Cape Verde keeper Josimar Dias who collected the effort with ease.

Tšepo Toloane – 7
The LDF playmaker had a good game in midfield and came close to finding the back of the net in the second half. He had a fine game in Likuena’s engine-room.

Tshwarelo Bereng – 8
If there is a player that left the supporters talking it is Bereng. He was absolute quality in midfield and it is difficult to recall any bad pass he made. He displayed magnificent ball control and made things look easy. On another day he would deserve the man of the match award but we are sticking with Mphuthi because of the match-saving saves he made.

Tšotleho Jane – 6
Jane had a quiet game and it was not surprising to see him hauled off just after the second half restart.

Tumelo Khutlang – 8
The Black Leopards star played well and we have given him a rating of 8 because he was literally everywhere trying to make things happen. He was tracking back to fight for the ball, closing down Cape Verde players all over the pitch and putting himself in good areas to create to create something for Likuena. His pace kept the Cape Verde defenders on their toes all afternoon.

Masoabi Nkoto – 6
Like many of his teammates, Nkoto was very quiet game in the first half and he didn’t last long in the second period, so this rating is just for his first half performance. The Real Kings striker did not trouble the solid Cape Verde defence which won every aerial duel against him. Nkoto eventually made way for Motebang Sera.

Substitutes:

Motebang Sera – 8
Mr Supersub you could say; you can always rely on Sera to get a goal when you need one and that’s exactly what he did when he replaced Nkoto. He ran at Cape Verde’s defenders, created openings and eventually got the crucial goal for Likuena.

Hlompho Kalake – 8
A fantastic display by Kalake. He changed the dynamic of the game when he came on for Jane and was not afraid to get into forward areas for the home side. Kalake and Sera truly turned the tables for Maliehe’s side.

Jane Thaba-Ntšo 6
Came on immediately after Cape Verde’s equaliser in the 82nd minute. Thaba-Ntšo was involved in some of Lesotho’s half chances in the closing stages but couldn’t find a breakthrough as the game ended 1-1.

Luciah Phahla

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