Lesotho bundled out of Cosafa championships

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MASERU — Lesotho won’t be part of today’s semi-final line-up at the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championships in Botswana after they were knocked out of the regional showpiece. The Makoanyane XI found the going tough against group favourites Malawi who handed them a 3-2 loss on Sunday in their first game. Although they went on to record a morale-boosting 3-1 win over the Seychelles the following day, this was not enough to pull them through.
This means Lesotho’s wait for the regional youth title continues. Sunday’s match against Malawi had been billed as the group decider, and so it proved. The encounter decided who topped the three-team Group B and progressed to the semi-finals. It is a match Lesotho dominated. However Mahao Matete’s side could not turn their dominance into a much-needed win. After a blistering start, Lesotho had the ball in the back of the net midway through the first half but striker Litšepe Marabe’s effort was ruled offside. The Makoanyane XI continued to dominate but an untimely lapse in concentration allowed Malawi to grab the lead against the run of play. Malawi’s goal came courtesy of Isaac Maluwa who fired home from long range after he was given time and space to shoot. It was a costly lapse and five minutes before the break Malawi went 2-0 up. Maluwa again took advantage of some sloppy Makoanyane XI defending, this time threading the ball through to Tony Chitsulo who scored despite Kananelo Makhooane getting a hand to the ball. Malawi took complete control of the game soon after halftime as Maluwa grabbed his second after latching on to a long ball. Lesotho mounted a mini comeback however and Marabe found the bottom corner of the net from just inside the box. Marabe netted again with 12 minutes left on the clock from the penalty spot following a foul on Lehlomela Ramabele. However, an equaliser eluded
the side. Lesotho also had to come back from being a goal down against the Seychelles after Keddy Moustache put Seychelles ahead on 81 minutes. But late goals from Tšoanelo Koetle, Mkwananzi Motlomelo and Jeremiah Kamele gave the Makoanyane XI a comfortable win. However, it was not enough to send Lesothothrough. Speaking after his side’s exit, Makoanyane XI coach Matete said he was pleased, adding his side had laid a solid foundation for the 2013 African Youth Championships qualifiers which begin next March. “I’m happy with our overall performance, although I still maintain we should have defeated Malawi in our first game. Our players were a little reserved in that game,” Matete
said. “Against Seychelles, we put up a great show but the win was not good enough. “This tournament has helped us lay a solid foundation for the qualifiers of the 2013 African Youth Championships.”

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