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Likuena shock Chipolopolo

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – Motebang Sera scored a brace as Lesotho inflicted a 2-1 defeat on a formidale Zambian national team in the second game of their Group A matches in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Cup at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa yesterday.

Sera scored two late goals from the bench to seal Likuena’s hard-fought victory.

Likuena were a goal down when the Bloemfontein Celtic striker was introduced in the second half to replace Nkoto Masoabi, with the Zambian ‘Chipolopolo’ leading 1-0 through a goal by the Cape Town City centre-forward, Justin Shonga, in the 29th minute of the first half.

But Sera levelled matters in the 70th minute with assistance from Black Leopards’ attacking midfielder Tumelo Khutlang. He completed his brace two minutes before the final whistle with another assistance from substitute Tumelo Makha. Sera obviously meant business from the moment he entered the pitch, with his first touch being a shot to the goals.

The shot, however, missed the target but he playing like a man who wanted to prove a point and, of course, he did. ‘Chipolopolo’ slightly dominated play in the first half, though Likuena still had their opportunities which they wasted.

Though he had good game, South African Marumo Gallants FC’s attacking midfielder, Tswarelo Bereng, fired blanks on the day; he was marvellous to watch, relaxed and managing to keep things under control whenever Likuena possessed the ball. In fact, Likuena started the game well, just like they did against eSwatini on Tuesday before losing their rhythm and getting thumped 3-1.

But yesterday’s match was a different ball game altogether, with Lesotho coming from half-time a stronger team. The equalising goal, which indeed was a quality strike, was proof enough that the Leslie Notši charges found their rhythm. Sera was brought down in the box in what looked like foul only to be ruled out.

Even the referee was confused as she immediately pointed it on the spot before being corrected by one her assistant referees. Likuena coach, Leslie Notsi, gave credit to his players for a hard-fought victory. “It was really a very tough encounter and which we have expected,” said Notši in a port-match interview yesterday.

“I really give credit to the lads. They really absorbed the pressure from the Zambian team.” Asked about his team’s great performance in the second half, Notsi said: “We needed to engage ourselves much better. The plan was to give pressure to the opponents.”

Likuena’s next game will be against Botswana’s Zebras tomorrow, while their last game of the Group A will be against the hosts, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana next Tuesday.

 

 

 

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