MASERU — Lesotho ended their Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championship campaign on a low after going down 2-4 to Botswana in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday.
Goals from Litsepe Marabe and Mokone Marabe were not enough as the Lesotho defence leaked another four goals, after conceding three against Zimbabwe on Tuesday in their opening Group B match.
The defeat left Makoanyane XI with the wooden spoon — not the best of results for a team touted the future of Lesotho football.
Yesterday’s match had originally been scheduled for Friday but was abandoned because of incessant rains.
Speaking after the match, Makoanyane XI coach Leslie Notši was surprisingly upbeat despite the tour whitewash.
“Overall, our performance was not bad. It is true we lost both matches but when you compare with our performance last year, there has been an improvement. What this team needs is to stay together,” Notši said.
“I’m disappointed but at the moment, Zimbabwe is at a higher standard than us while this Botswana team has been together since they were the national Under-17 side,” Notši said.
Notši also said Lesotho’s Achilles Heel was again their goal-scoring, but sees positives going forward.
“We had our usual problem today; we had open chances (but we didn’t score). It is something that needs to be worked on at club level — when players are 19 or 18 (years old), it is not easy to change their habits,” Notši said.
“(But) our performance is very different from last year; we competed well and made it difficult for Botswana,” Notši added.
Meanwhile, countries interested in hosting the Cosafa Senior Challenge will now have to commit themselves to a three-year contract before being awarded the the chance to host the tournament.
The resolution was taken by the Cosafa executive committee during the organisation’s General Assembly held in Johannesburg on Friday.
It is understood Cosafa wants host countries to commit themselves to longer contracts — including staging the Under-20 and Under-17 competitions — because of the uncertainty that surrounded the hosting of this year’s Senior Challenge.
As yet, no country has submitted bids to host the championship, but it is understood Zimbabwe — hosts of this year’s tournament — has again, expressed an interest in staging the competition.