……as LeFA makes a fortune in Algeria match through advertising
National team coach, Seephephe Matete, was left bemoaning “many missed chances” as his charges on Sunday lost their second successive 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier—this time against powerhouse Algeria.
Matete insists his team should have buried the chances they created in the first half at Setsoto Stadium to stand any chance of upsetting the number one-ranked team on the continent, and in the end, paid dearly for it.
Lesotho were hoping to atone for June’s 1-2 away defeat against Ethiopia in their 2017 AFCON Group J opening qualifier, but came unstuck against a composed Desert Foxes outfit oozing with uncanny technical ability.
After the Algerians had grabbed the lead through Italy-based defender Faouzi Ghoulam in the 31st minute, Likuena levelled matters six minutes later through Ralekoti Mokhahlane’s wonder-strike.
Croatia-based El Arbi Hille Soudani then scored a brace in the last six minutes of the match to take the Desert Foxes top of the four-team Group J, which also comprises second-placed Ethiopia and Seychelles, who find themselves in number three position, with winless Lesotho anchoring the pool. Algeria beat the Seychelles 4-0 in their opener while Ethiopia and the islanders drew 1-1 last weekend.
“I feel we played very well against a good team, but it seemed the players were getting tired towards the end, and losing concentration which resulted in our giving away the match in the dying minutes,” Matete said after the match.
However, Matete said all was not lost for his players whom he said showed they can compete against the best on the continent.
“Like I said, small mistakes are punishable against a team like this and that’s what happened to us today.”
Matete said he would keep the core of the team for their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Comoros early next month.
Likuena face the Comoros on 4 October away and host the second leg a fortnight later. The national team also play Zimbabwe in the two-legged qualifier of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) next month.
Meanwhile, the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) made a fortune from Sunday’s match through providing stadium perimeter-advertising to an Algerian mobile-phone company which paid “over M200 000”.
LeFA secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, on Monday told the Lesotho Times: “I cannot go into full details as I’m still to discuss the matter with my principals, but what I can tell you is we made over M200 000 through selling adverting space at the stadium.
“We had nothing to lose since there were no local companies prepared to pay that amount of money, hence we took the deal after getting approval from the relevant stakeholders.”
Mohapi said the Algerian firm wanted visibility during the match as the tie was being beamed live back home.
Regarding the performance of the team, Mohapi said the outcome was disappointing.
“We are not happy at all; we should not be at the bottom of the table,” he said.