LIKUENA were on Sunday held to a 1 all draw by Cape Verde in a Group L match-day two 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Setsoto Stadium.
Motebang Sera came off the bench to put Likuena ahead in the 75th minute but Cape Verde salvaged a point late in the game after a lapse in concentration by the home side.
Moses Maliehe’s men were the better of the two sides throughout the game enjoying a large chunk of ball possession but were let down by poor finishing in the final third to kill the game before the Blue Sharks scored a late equaliser.
I agree with the Likuena coach that this was a learning experience for our players and that it is vital to have killer instincts at this level of football.
A win over Cape Verde on Sunday would surely have improved Lesotho’s chances of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.
In the same vein, I hope the players have learnt to focus until the referee has blown to end the game thereby avoiding cheap goals like they did on Sunday.
I believe the players, just like any other Mosotho, wanted to win the match.
Improving our attack and defence will be crucial going into next month’s matches against Uganda, who top the group with four points.
The dream is still alive for Likuena but they will have to dig deep when they face the Cranes in Kampala as the side is tough to beat in their own backyard.
On the positives, Likano Mphuthi exhibited growth in goal for Likuena.
Tshwarelo Bereng finally made his long-awaited debut for Likuena and what a game he had in the midfield alongside Tšepo Toloane.
Sera also did what we are now used to him doing whenever he comes from the bench for his country. He once again Likuena’s sole goal and it is a pity that the team failed to defend well and allowed Cape Verde back into the game.
He is one player who gives 100 percent effort at all times and has grown in leaps and bounds since making his Likuena debut in 2016.
However, I must say, I was disappointed by some of the Likuena supporters who booed Nkoto Masoabi from the opening minutes of the game.
We need to learn to rally behind our team and the players in each and every game especially when we play at home irrespective of whether or not one is playing is well.
I was also disappointed to learn that all our South Africa based players had to take long road trips from Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal (KZN) provinces when they came for national duty.
The trio of Tumelo Khutlang, Luciano Matsoso and Bereng play for Black Leopards in the Limpopo province while Masoabi is based in KZN where he plays for National First Division side Real Kings.
All these players have had a busy schedule at their clubs and enduring such road trips to join the national team camp is too much to ask of them.
The wellbeing of players should always be a priority for the Lesotho Football Association.