By: Lilemo Matlotlo
Lesotho football team (Likuena) have beaten South African side (Bafana Bafana) 3-2 on the first leg of African Nations Championship qualifier at Setsoto Stadium on last Sunday .
The merciless Likuena has shown dominance of the game in the opening minutes of the first half as Tšepo Seturumane’s shot gave them an early lead.
Mpitsa Marai charges continued pressing Bafana Bafana in their own half as they nearly doubled their lead after Lehlohonolo Fothoane hit the crossbar in 20th minute of the opening half.
However, Bafana Bafana got a late equalizer in the first half through Tercious Malepe, who converted from the penalty spot following Basia Makepa’s massive tackle on Bafana Bafana’s striker.
Likuena restored their lead in 25th minute of the second half after Malepe handle the ball in the penalty yard and Hlompho Kalake scored from the penalty spot.
After long ball possession dominance, Bafana young star Komohelo Mahlatsi dribbled pass Rethabile Rasethuntsa and set unmarked Livuyo Phewa who made it 2-2.
However, Likuena made a quick response when Mokone Marabe linked well with Kalake who released unstoppable Fothoane who’s thunder-shot sealed a late win for Likuena.
When commenting about the game in the press conference, Bafana Bafana coach David Notoane said game was competitive.
“I like to congratulate coach Notsi and Lesotho for good win. It was a competitive game. I think it came the way everyone have expected it,” he continues.
“3-2, it’s not a bad results but it’s not the results we wanted. I think now the pressure is with us, we will go back to Johannesburg and see how we strengthen our team,” he said.
On the other hand, Likuena coach Lesley Notsi said:
“We are satisfied about the game as Likuena coaches. It was a game with a lot of pressure to me, because I am in charge of the team.
“According to our game plan, we were prepared to pile pressure to the opponents, and at least score goal within first fifteen minutes and our players managed to do that,” explained Notsi.
Notsi added that they anticipated much tough game on the return leg as pressure is now on Bafana Bafana.
“Go forward to the next round, we’re looking for tough game, pressure is now on their side. They will pull out all the stops to win the game in their backyard, but we will also try to absorb pressure and go for scoring goals too,” Notsi concluded.