Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bantu so close but so far in CAF Champions League

Bantu came close but got no cigar against Mbabane Swallows

2018 CAF Champions League
Preliminary Round, Second leg
Somhlolo Stadium
Wednesday, 21 February
Mbabane Swallows………..1
5-5 on aggregate (Mbabane Swallows win on away goals)

Bantu’s CAF Champions League adventure is over and although it was a valiant effort by A Matšo Matebele to beat Mbabane Swallows in their own backyard, it was another case of close but no cigar for Lesotho in Africa’s premier club competition.

Bantu went into Wednesday’s second leg at the Somhlolo Stadium in Swaziland needing to win by three goals to advance after losing the first leg 4-2 in Maseru two weeks earlier.

In the end the Lesotho champions managed to defeat Mbabane Swallows 3-1, but it wasn’t enough.

The result made the aggregate score 5-5 but Mbabane Swallows won on the away goals rule.

It is a most painful way to be knocked for Bantu who in the second leg showed their potential to do well on the African stage. A Matšo Matebele’s win in Swaziland was the first time a Lesotho side has won an away Champions League tie since 1998 when, ironically, LDF beat Mbabane Swallows 4-1.

The only other times a Lesotho team managed an away win were in 1992 when Arsenal beat Namibia’s Eleven Arrows 1-0, in 1990 when Arsenal beat Denver Sundowns of Swaziland 3-0 and in 1987 when Matlama beat Botswana’s Gaborone United 2-0.

Despite insisting beforehand that Bantu would not play with two strikers because of his side’s defensive frailties, coach James Madidilane put out an extremely adventurous line-up that featured five attack-minded players with Tsietsi Motšeare, Litšepe Marabe, Tsebang Lebata, Ramasimong Maloisane and Hlompho Kalake all starting at Somhlolo.

Madidilane was rewarded for his daring when Lebata gave A Matšo Matebele the lead in the fifth minute to raise hopes of a memorable afternoon for the Lesotho champions.

However, Bantu’s defence has been a weak-link in recent weeks and just a minute later Felix Badenhorst had scored to make it 1-1. From there Bantu had to score three more goals without reply to advance.

With the scores tied 1-1 at halftime, A Matšo Matebele came out guns blazing in the second period while Mbabane Swallows appeared more content to hold what they had. It almost cost the home side.

Bantu scored twice through Marabe and Kalake to put the miracle back on track. But, despite huffing and puffing with all their might, the Mafeteng visitors couldn’t blow Mbabane’s house down. In the end, Bantu came out with an historic moral victory. Even so, had their defence been better in the home leg, it could have been so much more.
Bantu's defeat continues Lesotho poor record in Africa...
For Lesotho its dismal record in Africa’s top competition continues. No Lesotho club has advanced to the first round of the tournament since LDF in 2002.

In fact, only seven times in 29 ties since 1986 has a local side progressed past the preliminary stage and only once ever has a Lesotho team made it to the second round – that was in 1992 when Arsenal beat Swaziland’s Denver Sundowns (4-0 on aggregate) and Mozambique’s Ferroviario de Maputo (2-1) before falling to Nkana Red Devils of Zambia (8-1).

Many had hoped that 2018, with a confident Bantu, would be the year when things changed.

Bantu starting XI v Mbabane Swallows: Thabo Selisa - Johannes Molapo, Itumeleng Falene, Tsietsi Khooa, Thapelo Mokhehle © - Lindokuhle Phungulwa, Ramasimong Maloisane, Hlompho Kalake - Tsietsi Motšeare, Litšepe Marabe, Tsebang Lebata

Lesotho in the CAF Champions League since 1986:
2018    Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland) 5-5 Bantu    
2017    CAPS United (Zimbabwe) 2-1 Lioli    
2016    Vital’O (Burundi) 2-2 Lioli (Vital’O won on away goals)
2015    AS Mangasport (Gabon) 1-0 Bantu    
2014    Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) 3-2 Lioli
2013    Dynamos (Zimbabwe) 3-1 LCS
2012    URA (Uganda) 3-0 LCS
2011    SuperSport United (RSA) 3-2 Matlama          
2010    Did not take part       
2009    Did not take part       
2008    Platinum Stars (RSA) 4-1 LCS
2007    Zanaco (Zambia) 1-0 Likhopo
2006    Sundowns (RSA) 4-0 Likhopo           
2005    CAPS United (Zimbabwe) 8-4 LDF    
2004    Orlando Pirates (RSA) 7-0 Matlama  
2003    Did not take part
2002    Mogoditshane Fighters (Botswana) 1-2 LDF  
2001    Did not take part
2000    AS Fortior (Madagascar) 0-0 LDF (LDF won on penalties)    
Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA) 6-2 LDF
1999    Notwane (Botswana) 2-4 LDF
Dynamos (Zimbabwe) 4-0 LDF
1998    Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland) 1-6 LDF       
Manning Rangers (RSA) 5-4 LDF
1997    Limbe Leaf Wanderers (Malawi) 2-5 Rovers 
Orlando Pirates (RSA) 1-0 Rovers
1996    CS Saint-Denis (Reunion) 10-1 Majantja
1995    JS Saint-Pierroise (Reunion) 6-2 LDF 
1994    Sundowns (RSA) 5-1 Arsenal
1993    Sunrise Flacq United (Mauritius) 4-3 Matlama
1992    Eleven Arrows (Namibia) 0-4 Arsenal           
Kampala City Council (Uganda) 2-2 Arsenal  (KCC won on penalties)
1991    Pamba SC (Tanzania) 3-0 LDF           
1990    Denver Sundowns (Swaziland) 0-4 Arsenal   
Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique) 1-2 Arsenal    
Nkana Red Devils (Zambia) 8-1 Arsenal
1989    Botswana Defence Force XI 5-2 Matlama     
1988    Sunrise Flacq United (Mauritius) 3-2 LDF
1987    Gaborone United (Botswana) 0-3 Matlama   
Nakivubo Villa SC (Uganda) 5-0 Matlama    
1986    Maji Maji (Tanzania) 7-2 Lioli

No comments:

Post a Comment