Tears of joy for Bantu keepers’ coach

Tears of joy for Bantu keepers’ coach

MASERU – It was tears of joy for Bantu goalkeeper coach Khomo Leuta as he watched his bold prediction that his protégé, Ntsane Lichaba, would save two penalties to send Bantu to the next round of the CAF Champions League come true.

On Tuesday evening at Setsoto Stadium, the Lesotho champions made history by becoming the first team from the country to proceed to the first round of the continental showpiece in almost 20 years by knocking out Botswana champions Township Rollers.

The last team to get past the preliminary stages was Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) in 2002.
In an emotional interview after the match, Lichaba revealed what Leuta told him prior to the penalty shootout.
He said his coach told him the team’s hopes solely rested on him and he had a chance to be a hero in front of thousands of Bantu fans who did not disappoint the entire as they remained in full voice cheering their heroes.

Bantu supporters were not the only ones in attendance at Setsoto, however, as Lioli and Matlama supporters could also be seen in numbers. It was a full house at the national stadium.
Lichaba said Bantu had been praying after last week’s 1-1 first leg draw in Botswana and knew they had to come back and perform at home.
“What we have been praying for has happened with the help of God who has been there for us from the beginning,” Lichaba said.

“My coach told me that today I was going to be a hero for my team and that without me we are not going to win. He told me that everything is on my shoulders but he said he is not putting me under pressure and I did my job. We are going to work harder than we did now,” he enthused.
Lichaba’s keeper coach, Leuta, was full of praise for his star pupil afterwards.

“This boy is special,” Leuta said. “I remember two weeks back I told our goalkeeper coaches that ‘guys we have to we have to give it to this guy because what I like about him is his confidence’.
“He reminds of (Bantu’s first-choice keeper last season, Thabo) Selisa’. (Lichaba’s) confidence now is very high and he will keep doing well. Even though he is short, he has confidence now.”

Luciah Phahla

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