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Lefty’s team reaches quarter-finals

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — Union Sportive Monastir, the home of Lesotho international Bokang Mothoana, have reached the quarterfinals of the Tunisia Cup after a penalty shootout win away to fellow Tunisia second division team Jendouba Sport last Saturday.

The two sides were tied 0-0 at the end of 120 minutes before US Monastir prevailed 3-1 on penalties.

It was Monastir’s second win in the cup after they beat SS Sfaxien 2-0 in the opening round early last month.

The victory means US Monastir will be one of the last eight teams standing when the Tunisia Cup continues next year.

Fellow second division teams AS Kasserine and AS Djerba as well as Premier League giants Esperance, Etoile du Sahel, Stade Tunisien AS Gabès and EGS Gafsa are also in the draw.

Speaking to the Sunday Express on Monday, Mothoana said last Saturday’s hard-fought win was indicative of the team effort that has got US Monastir off to a strong start this season.

“We played very well as a team and we created many scoring opportunities,” Mothoana said.

“I’m very happy with the win because it shows that we are on the right path.

“We are also closer to one of our aims as a team which was to go as far as possible in the competition.”

Mothoana, capped 13 times for Likuena, has been a leading performer for his club this season.

He said the match in Jendouba was made especially tough by Monastir’s previous 1-0 win over the hosts in the league this season.

“It was a very tense game with both teams wanting to qualify and the pressure of the supporters,” Mothoana said.

“For Jendouba they wanted revenge because we beat them in the league two weeks ago.”

Mothoana said he believed US Monastir could repeat their feats of 2009 when the club reached the Tunisian Cup final for the first time in their history.

“I strongly believe we can make it to the finals, even though it’s not going to be easy facing the big teams playing in the Premier League,” he said.

US Monastir, who were relegated from Tunisia’s elite league in May, meanwhile are top of the second division with 23 points from their 10 matches so far.

On Wednesday it was back to league action for Mothoana and his teammates with a 2-1 win away to struggling CS Msaken.

This afternoon Monastir face bottom side Olympique du Kef.

Meanwhile, Likuena captain Lehlohonolo Seema is still struggling with a knee injury.

Seema, who is on a season-long loan at Mpumalanga Black Aces from fellow South Africa Premier League side Orlando Pirates, is yet to feature this season because of niggling injuries and is unlikely to play until next year.

Speaking to South African website Kickoff.com last month, Aces chief executive officer Marc Grune dismissed rumours Seema arrived in Mpumalanga with a long-term injury and said the Lesotho defender could return next month.

“It is not true that he came here with an injury . . . he got it when we played Mamelodi Sundowns during the off-season in a friendly,” Grune said.

“It’s unfortunate that these things happen in football but we are hoping for him to make a speedy recovery because we definitely need him this season.”

Seema, who has been hit hard by injuries over the past year-and-a-half, is only 15 appearances away from featuring in 200 South African premiership matches during his illustrious career.

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