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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lesotho advances to face South Africa in Women’s AFCON qualifiers

Lesotho beat Swaziland 3-1 on aggregate to progress to the
final round of #AWCON2018 qualifiers...

Lesotho will face South Africa for a place at the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON 2018) after beating Swaziland 3-1 on aggregate in the first round of qualifying this afternoon in Mbabane.

Mehalalitoe were leading 1-0 from the first leg last Friday at Setsoto Stadium and sealed their progress to the second and final round of qualifying with a 2-1 win in the return leg in Swaziland.

Lesotho’s goals were scored by defender Lerato Kheme and midfielder Palesa Mpeta and the side’s reward is a date against 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship winners South Africa in June.

Mehalalitoe will host the first leg and the winner of the tie will be one of the eight nations at the 2018 AWCON in Ghana in November and December.

Both legs will be played between June 4 and 12.

Holding a slender lead from the first leg, Lesotho coach Monaheng Montšo went for a attacking approach in today’s return in Swaziland with United States based striker Senate Letsie and Women’s Super League golden boot winner Kholu Lebakeng of LDF Ladies joining last Friday’s goal hero Litšeoana Maloro upfront.

The positive attitude paid off as Lesotho took a decisive 1-0 lead through Kheme after 30 minutes. Mehalalitoe then doubled their shortly after the break and although Swaziland scored late on, it wasn’t enough to spoil Lesotho’s party.

Montšo and his charges can now look forward to a high-profile tie against Banyana Banyana in two months’ time.

A total of 24 teams entered the qualifiers for the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, one more than the number which contested the last qualifiers in 2016.

South Africa was one of four nations handed a first round bye this year alongside holders Nigeria, fellow 2016 finalists Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

The seven winners of the second round qualifying ties will join hosts Ghana in the final tournament set for November 17 to December 1.

Lesotho starting line-up v Swaziland:
Thuto Maifo – Mosili Motsoeneng, Lerato Kheme, Macheche Matlamaela, Mamoroesi Likotsi – Boitumelo Rabale ©, Palesa Mpeta, Tšoanelo Leboka – Senate Letsie, Kholu Lebakeng, Litšeoana Maloro

AWCON 2018 Qualifying:
Second Round:
Lesotho v South Africa
Congo v Cameroon
Kenya v Equatorial Guinea
Zambia v Zimbabwe
Senegal/Algeria v Libya/Ethiopia
Morocco/Ivory Coast v Mali
Burkina Faso/Gambia v Nigeria

First leg and second leg: June 4-12
Winners qualify for 2018 AWCON alongside hosts Ghana

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