Lesotho Under-20……(0) 0
MASERU — Botswana coach Stanley Tshosane was annoyed Lesotho put out the national Under-20 side for their hastily arranged friendly match at Setsoto Stadium yesterday.
Still, the visiting side could only scrape an unconvincing 1-0 win over the Makoanyane XI.
Tshosane said they almost returned home without kicking the ball after learning Lesotho would only field the youth side.
The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) in February disbanded Likuena, the senior national team, after failing to enter them into the draw for the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifiers.
Lefa said it would develop a future senior national team from the youth sides.
“I don’t want to make excuses but we came here for Likuena,” Tshosane said.
Botswana, preparing for the 2012 Nations Cup qualifying campaign, came with a full-strength senior side.
“It’s a senior team that is here because we are in a building process,” Tshosane said. “Unfortunately when we got here it was the Under-20 team.”
“Our president was not happy and he wanted us to return home,” he added. “All in all we didn’t get the good preparation we wanted.”
Tshosane was however impressed by Lesotho’s young guns who imposed their high-tempo game against their more experienced opponents.
“The Lesotho Football Association has to take care of this team,” he said. “They play beautiful football.”
The match was a much-needed test for Leslie Notši’s Makoanyane XI who are preparing for a crucial Caf Under-20 Championship qualifier against South Africa next month.
Lesotho started yesterday’s match with one change to the record-setting XI who beat Mozambique 6-1 at Setsoto Stadium in April.
Mohau Khali replaced Litšepe Marabe who has been struggling with an ankle injury.
Once again the youth side looked solid in defence but struggled to put in a cohesive performance.
Still they were able to put pressure on Botswana, hassling for possession and out-shooting their opponents in both halves.
However, a lapse in concentration allowed Botswana to score seven minutes into the second half. Lesotho failed to properly deal with a cross from the right and after a defensive mix-up the ball bounced off Basia Makepa into the net.
The home side introduced midfielders Lekhanya Lekhanya and Mosiuoa Boseka and started dictating the pace of the game.
But they couldn’t find an elusive equaliser.
“We were playing a good team but our boys showed character and in the first 30 minutes we were the better team,” Notši said after the game.
The Makoanyane XI coach said the game had been a good gauge of the work done this year and since the team started camp last Monday.
“We closed the space down very well and we were the first to every loose ball,” Notši said.
“We however still have a long way to go. We want the players to understand what to play for the country means.”
Next up for Lesotho’s Under-20s is a trip to Swaziland for two friendly matches on July 2 and 4.