By Moorosi Tsiane
MASERU — Makoanyane XI mentor, Moses Maliehe, has blamed over-excitement for his team’s failure to clinch the Council of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) Under-20 Youth Championships title.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times, Maliehe said it was quite disappointing that as the hosts they had an early exit from the sub-regional youth tournament.
“Over excitement of hosting the tournament clouded my players’ imagination right from the first match; they played well but failed to convert easy goals.
“I am very disappointed.
“We let Basotho down.
“We were hoping to win the competition for the first time but things didn’t go our way,” Maliehe said.
The two-week-long tournament kick started last Tuesday in the two districts of Maseru and Mafeteng with the final set for Saturday at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru.
The home team’s dreams of winning the title on home soil were shattered after playing two draws against underdogs Comoros, and Kenya before thumping Mauritius 3-0 in the last group stage encounter.
Maliehe also said the fact that he was forced to get rid of other players at the eleventh hour over age-cheating allegations negatively affected their winning chances.
“The reshuffling of the players affected my plans coming to the tournament.
“I had to start with new players within a very short period of time and most of them play in the lower divisions.”
He however, said the competition had taught him a lot and boosted his team’s preparations for upcoming qualifiers for the 2015 African Under-20 Championships to be held in Senegal.
“Taking part in this competition taught me a lot of things that I believe will be vital when preparing my team for the African youth championship qualifiers set to commence next year,” said Maliehe.