Mehalalitoe blow away Swaziland to advance

Mehalalitoe blow away Swaziland to advance

Maseru-Lesotho’s national women’s team, Mehalalitoe, has advanced to the final round of 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers and a date with neighbours South Africa in June.

Mehalalitoe’s progress comes after they blew away Swaziland’s Sitsebe with a 3-1 aggregate victory this week. It was a sweet win for Monaheng Montšo’s charges who won the home leg 1-0 last Friday before finishing off the job with a 2-1 away triumph in Swaziland on Tuesday.

Speaking to thepost yesterday, Montšo praised his team’s character over the two legs. The Mehalalitoe mentor also credited the side’s preparations. As part of their build-up to the Swaziland tie, Mehalalitoe travelled across the border to play friendly games against South Africa Sasol Women’s League champions Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.

Despite losses in both matches, Montšo said the outing was a crucial stepping stone to Lesotho’s 2018 AWCON first round success. “I am very satisfied with our performance even though we still have to work on our defence and creation of goal-scoring opportunities going forward,” Montšo told thepost.

“I think the friendly games that we had prior to the game (against Swaziland) helped us a lot to win this game even though we conceded one goal.” Lesotho’s second round qualifying tie against South Africa will take place between June 4 and 12.

If Mehalalitoe advance past Banyana they will qualify for the 2018 AWCON set for November in Ghana where the top three teams will represent Africa at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France next year.

Lesotho will have to dig deep. The last time the sides met South Africa ran out 3-0 winners last September in the opening game of the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship in Zimbabwe.

June’s meeting gives Montšo’s team a chance to exact some revenge on their neighbours.

2018 AWCON qualifying second round:

Congo vs. Cameroon
TBD vs. Nigeria
Cote d’Ivoire vs. Mali
Algeria vs. Ethiopia
Lesotho vs. South Africa
TBD vs. Zimbabwe
Kenya vs. Equatorial Guinea

Nkheli Liphoto

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