Likuena maul Warriors

Likuena maul Warriors

MASERU – Lesotho claimed an impressive 1-0 win over a strong Zimbabwe side in an international friendly match played at Setsoto Stadium last night. The match attracted a decent crowd of supporters for an evening game and, after an intense first half from both teams, Likuena sealed a last-minute win through super-sub Hlompho Kalake to down the Warriors.

Lesotho will now depart to play Malawi on Sunday for its second game during this week-long international break.
Against Zimbabwe, Likuena made their intentions clear early on through Litšepe Marabe but the striker’s efforts were parried over the post by Edmore Sibanda.

However, it did not take time for Zimbabwe to find their footing and they nearly took the lead through Kundani Beny but he was denied by Likuena keeper Likano Mphuthi. The Warriors kept the pressure on Likuena and came close to breaking the deadlock after a defensive error from Likuena’s backline but Banne Macauley hit the side-netting.

Mphuthi was called to task one more time to deny Evans Rusike from a freekick. Eventually, Zimbabwe found the back of the net through Tendai Ndoro but his effort was ruled offside.
Lesotho’s Poland based winger Luciano Matsoso then tested Sibanda from outside the box but his shot was deflected for a corner kick as the game went into halftime goalless.

Likuena started the second half where they left off before the break but Tumelo Khutlang could not finish off a great build-up from Matsoso and Masoabi Nkoto. Matsoso produced a man of the match display for Likuena.
Head coach Moses Maliehe made his first substitutions by bringing in Kalake for Marabe and Jane Thaba-Ntšo for Ralekoti Mokhahlane. The changes worked a charm as Kalake sealed a memorable last minute win.

Reflecting on the game, Likuena coach Moses Maliehe said he was happy with his display.
“We said we want the momentum from these two games (against Zimbabwe and Malawi) and we found the momentum,” he said.
“Our players played very well. We talked to them, even the (Lesotho Football Association) president (Salemane Phafane) met them and told them we have to win for Lesotho and Basotho.”

“We fixed the things we wanted to fix,” Maliehe added.
“If you look at Nkoto Masoabi, he played very well. He gave us something we have lacked which is a striker to hold the ball and play with others. (Masoabi) did that until he got tired. We did not have a lot of wing play. We brought Matsoso from Poland, we saw what he did and that’s what we need. The crosses he made were dangerous and the last one resulted in a goal,” he said.

Maliehe was also impressed with his central defence of Nkau Lerotholi and Basia Makepe.
Maliehe, though, reserved the most praise for Matsoso and he said Likuena need all their international players in order to be competitive on a regular basis.

Lesotho played without Jane Tšotleho and defender Thabo Makhele.
Looking forward, Maliehe said Likuena are going to attack in their second game in Malawi and will not sit back.
“We are going to attack all the way; we cannot defend, we will attack,” he said. “Of course, we will fix some things. We are going to have two sessions there.”
Mphuthi, Moremoholo, Mokhehle, Lerotholi, Makepe, Koetle, Marabe (Kalake), Mokhahlane (Thaba-Ntšo), Nkoto (Sera), Khutlang Matsoso
Sibanda, Darikwa, Dauda, Amini, Muduwa, Rusike (Kadewere), Mahachi, Mukamba, Beny (Chakaroma), Ndoro (Muskwe), Banne

Luciah Phahla

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