MASERU – Lesotho senior national team Likuena face the six-time COSAFA Cup winners, the Warriors of Zimbabwe, this time around in the third-place play-off in the regional competition at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa, today.
This is after both Likuena and the Warriors lost in the semi-finals of the COSAFA Cup to Botswana and Zambia, both on Wednesday at the same venue.
The Zebras of Botswana beat Likuena 2-1 to advance to the final, while Chipolopolo of Zambia booked place in the final after beating the Warriors 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw in regular time.
Likuena struggled to match their Botswana opponents in the first half.
The Lesotho team’s defence was not solid enough and the Zebra capitalised on their mistakes to score two goals in the first half.
Both goals by the Zebras came as a result of poor defending by the Lesotho team, the first one in the opening seven minutes of the game by Joel Mogorosi who rose above two Likuena defenders to head into an empty net, with Lesotho’s goalkeeper Samuel Ketsekile out of his goals in an attempt to stop the Botswana attack on the edge of the 18 area.
The second goal was as a result of poor clearance to the edge of the box which found Segolame Boy unmarked and the Botswana player did not waste time as he fired home a low left-footed shot to increase his team’s tally.
Likuena scored their consolation goal in the 79th minute through Motebang Sera’s header. The ball came from Likuena’s captain Basia Makepe, who got on the end of the corner kick and sent a header back across the face of the goal, with Sera getting ahead of his marker to direct the ball into the net.
Likuena played better in the second half after Sera, Thapelo Tale and Lehlohonolo Fothoane were introduced.
The Lesotho team put up a fierce contest in the last 10 minutes, in search for a second goal but the Zebras managed to hang onto their lead until the final whistle.
Tonight’s COSAFA clash between Lesotho and Zimbabwe is going to be their third year in a row, with the latter winning the two previous encounters.
Last year, Zimbabwe beat Lesotho 3-1 on penalties following a goalless draw in normal time.