GOALKEEPER, Likano Mphuthi was the toast of Likuena when his penalty save thrust Lesotho into the semi-finals of the COSAFA Cup at the expense of 2015 champions Namibia in yesterday’s quarterfinal clash in Rustenburg, South Africa.
The LDF goalkeeper saved a penalty in the sudden death to hand Lesotho a 5-4 win in the shootout after the match ended nil-all in normal time.
Hlompho Kalake, Mafa Moremoholo, Bokang Sello, Thapelo Mokhehle and Motebang Sera converted their spot kicks with Tšoanelo Koetle the only player to miss.
The match started with Namibia enjoying a lot of possession but Likuena gradually grew into the game and finished the first half the stronger of the two teams.
Likuena created a few half chances in the second stanza but Mabuti Potloane and Hlompho Kalake lacked the killer instinct in front of goal.
Namibia also squandered a few opportunities which came their way in the second half while in other occasions Likuena LDF goalkeeper, Mphuthi was forced into fine saves to keep his side in the game.
Speaking with the Sunday Express in the post- match interview, Likuena coach Moses Maliehe expressed delight with the result although he conceded this was not one of their best performances.
“I’m very excited, it was not one of our best performances, but what matters is that we won,” Maliehe said.
“We will still go back to the drawing board because I am not happy with the performance of the team,” he said, adding they would work hard as they were confident of reaching the finals.
“You have to give the boys credit for their hard work. As much as the performance was not impressive, they gave it their all,” the Likuena coach said.
“Most of them have come through the ranks playing for the junior teams and are getting better with every match.
“We just need to keep our feet on the ground and keep improving,” he said.
Lesotho will face the winner of today’s match between Swaziland and Zimbabwe in the semifinal.