wins 5-3 on penalties) Lesotho
Thankfully, though, Leslie Notši’s side held their nerve in the shootout to seal a highly enjoyable win.
|Lesotho goal-scorer Thapelo Tale battles with Angola's|
That was the main storyline of today’s game unfortunately taking some of the gloss off what was a pleasingly assured performance by
The prolificacy in front of goal started as early as the 11th minute when Motlalepula Mofolo, with time and space, volleyed straight at the keeper.
Inevitably (as is the football gods’ way)
took the lead on 24 minutes, against the run of play, when Cristovao Paciencia hit a long-range stunner after a miscue by Nkau Lerotholi. The defender’s uncharacteristic error was characteristic of Likuena’s sloppy start filled with misplaced passes and heavy touches. Angola
Although Lesotho were out-powered physically, by keeping the ball better they began to nullify this disadvantage and Bushy Moletsane’s 30th minute snap shot on was a sign of the changing tide.
The timing goal changed the psychology of the game.
After the break
were mightily assured, stroking the ball around with confidence and patience. This retreated Lesotho into a shell, making their physicality in the final third a less of a threat. Angola
Tale had two glorious chances, hitting the crossbar with one, before his replacement Lehlomela Ramabele did the same with virtually the last kick of the game.
found their shooting boots in the penalty shootout shouldn’t distract from the hard work that needs to be done on finishing, not just by Likuena over the next couple of days, but here at home. Lesotho
Consider this: today’s match was
’s seventh this year, the most since 2009. It’s fair to say some of Lesotho rusty performances since Notši took over in 2011 are down to the fact his players don’t play enough games together as a national team and at club level. Lesotho
had four competitive internationals, in 2011 it was two. Lesotho
This year, however, been two World Cup qualifiers (
Zambia and Ghana), a high-profile friendly against South Africa and four games here in . It’s the kind of quality practice Notši hasn’t been afforded since taking over charge of the team, the kind of run that gives a coach a chance to build his team. Zambia
Hopefully, then, there can be more matches for Likuena to play. It’s vital.
Likuena's Thabo Masualle and Angola's Mario Manuel de Oliveira
This is now
Lesotho’s best performance in the tournament since 2000 when Lesotho reached the final before losing to . On Wednesday Zimbabwe Zimbabwe will again stand in the way of a possible fairytale… but this is 2013! Lesotho
Cosafa Cup semi-finals
Wednesday, 17 July