Maliehe says lack of info killed dream

Maliehe says lack of info killed dream

MASERU – Lesotho national coach Moses Maliehe has blamed a lack of information for Likuena’s failure to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Likuena were pipped at the finish line by Tanzania after they played to a goalless draw with Cape Verde in their final group game last Sunday while Tanzania beat Uganda 3-0.
Likuena went into that final Group L tie away to Cape Verde knowing a win would guarantee a spot at the AFCON finals in June but Maliehe’s side could only muster a goalless draw.

Worse still, Likuena seemed content with a point throughout the game and the players duly celebrated the result at the final whistle.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena, Maliehe said Likuena’s staff received “wrong information” about the other group game between Tanzania and Uganda and it affected the way Likuena approached the Cape Verde tie.
During the first 45 minutes of the game Lesotho had zero shots on target and only 23% ball possession.
Maliehe said Lesotho went into the game with three plans – the first was to score in the first 15 minutes, be comfortable, and then manage the game from there.

Despite things not going according to plan, Maliehe insisted he was proud of his players and said they gave their best.
“On the technical side, there was another group game between Tanzania and Uganda, then us and Cape Verde. We had two chances to qualify. The big one was to win and the second one was to play a draw pending on the results from the other game,” Maliehe said.
“But, I want to tell you that as the head coach of Likuena I didn’t care about what was happening on the other side because what we have been talking with our players was this (game against Cape Verde) was a must win, a win would save us from the situation we were in,” he added.
“When the game started we had three plans. The first was to score in 15 minutes so that we can play comfortably knowing it’s an away game. We know that in Africa the mentality has to be that we want to score first before we concede, because the team that concedes first normally loses.

“We were not playing alone we were playing with another team; they also had the same mentality because if they won the game they would qualify if Tanzania lost. It was a tricky situation because we were playing an away game; secondly we didn’t care whether we were playing people from Europe.”
Maliehe continued that the long journey from Johannesburg to Cape Verde did not have an impact on the players as they had two days to rest after they arrived.

“Like I say we were not playing alone, when we got into the pitch Cape Verde was all over us that for about 15 minutes in the first half we were trying to push them. In the first half we contained them and they were frustrated, but I want to tell you that lack of information killed us; we didn’t arrange someone to check what is going on in the other game. I had no interest in what was going on in the other game because I didn’t want to confuse the players, but during the interval, I asked someone to check on the other game and mind you in that game on the 17th minute Tanzania was already leading but the person told us it was 0-0. But I don’t judge the person because the intention was to not to disturb the players. When he told me the score I said to the players now we are one leg to AFCON,” Maliehe said.
Maliehe continued that there is a difference between watching a game on television and live.
He said “on TV you see the game from one angle while live you see all the movements.”
He said he is still congratulating his players because there was lot of pressure and they stood firm.

Maliehe reiterated again how Likuena were undone by a lack of information towards the end of the game. He said with three minutes to go, he heard noises from behind his bench. When he looked at Cape Verde’s assistant coach, he gave him signs Tanzania was leading 3-0.
“That’s why you saw us take (Tšoarelo) Bereng off and bring Kopano (Tseka) in because in my head I was thinking there was nothing and we had reached what we wanted that if we don’t score, let’s not concede. So that is what happened until the game ended,” he said.
Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi made it clear that the questions about the way forward and what LEFA is going to do will not be answered this week.
Mohapi said there will be a presidential press conference next week where all will be answered.

Tlalane Phahla

 

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