MASERU — Lesotho women’s under-20 team face an uphill task to make it through to the next round of 2012 Fifa Under-20 World Cup qualifying after a 2-0 loss away to Kenya on Friday.
The result in Nairobi means Lesotho have to score at least twice in the second leg at the Setsoto Stadium in a fortnight to have any chance of progressing.
The qualifiers are to determine the 16 countries that will take part in the Youth World Cup in Uzbekistan next year.
The damage in Nairobi was done early as the hosts struck twice within the first 30 minutes of the game.
Kenya made their pressure count as early as the fifth minute thanks to a goal by Sharon Bushenei.
Their lead was then doubled in the 27th minute by Wendy Ochieng.
Despite recovering, Lesotho coach Puseletso Mokhotsi’s team was unable to hit back and grab the all-important away goal.
Speaking after the match, the side’s manager, Tlholo Letete, said Lesotho recovered well but squandered several openings. “We conceded early goals.
“Despite the fact that the Kenyans had a physical advantage, we were able to contain them for the better part of the game,” Letete said.
He added: “We did not play to our full potential but we were able to create some mouth-watering chances.”
Lesotho have a daunting task to progress but Letete remained hopeful.
With the support of the home crowd, he said, Lesotho could progress to the next round adding the young ladies team would draw on Likuena’s recent success over Burundi for inspiration.
“The girls have big hearts and have a strong belief that with the positives drawn from this game and the support of Basotho (in the second leg) they will be able to beat Kenya and proceed to the next stage,” Letete said.
The next stage of African qualifying begins in February next year.