Under-20s fall to Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia . . . . (1) 3

Lesotho . . . . . . . . .(1) 1

MASERU — Lesotho’s Under-20 national team arrived home yesterday with their tails tugged between their legs after a heavy defeat to Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

The friendly tie was part of Makoanyane XI’s preparations for the Caf Youth Championships that are scheduled for Libya next month.

With Libya in political turmoil it is however still not clear whether the tournament will go ahead as scheduled on March 19.

The heavy defeat however in no way reflected Makoanyane XI’s performance on the pitch, according to sources who watched the match.

The two teams were evenly balanced in the first half and had to go to the breather with the scores level at 1-1.

But Makoanyane XI collapsed like a deck of cards in the second half after Saudi Arabia stepped up the tempo and punished Lesotho with two goals.

Lesotho never recovered with the strikers squandering numerous goal-scoring opportunities during the match.

Makoanyane XI team manager, Khiba Mohoanyane, told the Lesotho Times that Saudi Arabia had provided a crucial lesson to the locals.

He said the team lived up to expectations in the first half but slackened in the second half and were duly punished.

“We got punished for our own mistakes after half time.

“Our defence made just two key mistakes and that cost us victory,” Mohoanyane said.

He added: “We went into this game straight from the High Performance Centre (in Pretoria) and we wanted the boys to put into action what they had learned from Pretoria.”

“They played well given that they were implementing new things like speed, turning and strength,” he said.

Mohoanyane said the Saudi trip had proved quite fruitful after a three-day camp in Pretoria.

He said the international friendly helped the team to implement new tactics they had learned in Pretoria.

“In general, the tests revealed that our team’s main weakness is that we lack strength and needed to work on the importance of speed and turning,” Mohoanyane said.

“Our boys’ minds were still fresh from the High Performance Centre and they were exercising a lot of things they learned from there,” he said.

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