LUSAKA — Lesotho’s Under-20 netball team were yesterday thrashed 66-10 by Botswana in the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone IV Games opening match in Lusaka, Zambia.
Lesotho failed to come to the party from the first whistle with Botswana opening the scoring sheet just seconds into the game. Lesotho seemed to put their house in order when they got their first goal just a minute after. Botswana, who were in a ruthless mood, however took advantage of the endless mistakes by Lesotho’s defence and opened the gap. By half time, Botswana were leading by 37-5.
Under-17 team coach, ’Maseabata Makhetha, blamed the defeat on lack of international experience.
“We lost the game because of minor mistakes that we kept on making throughout because of lack of international friendly games ahead of this encounter,” Makhetha told the Sunday Express after the game.
“This was our first time as coaches to see our team in action and we were only learning about its strengths and weaknesses today,” she said. She blamed the lack of international preparatory matches to lack of funds. “We made lots of substitutes throughout the match because we wanted to see each player in action so we know exactly what to expect come the next game,” she said.
She however said today’s match against the regional powerhouse, Malawi, was going to be different.
“We are going to put up a good show because we know the team and we’ve seen our mistakes,” she said. Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) president, Limpho Mokhochane, said she was hopeful Lesotho will put up a good fight against Malawi. “We need to beat Malawi tomorrow (Sunday) in order for us to progress to the next stage of the competition,” Mokhochane said. “The beauty of netball is that starting a tournament on a high pitch helps a team to prepare and perform well in the next matches and Lesotho will definitely recover from this loss,” she said. Meanwhile, tennis maestro Bishop Mosebi raised Lesotho’s flag high when he won his preliminary match against Botswana’s Sello Leshope yesterday.
Mosebe won the match 6-3 and 6-2 in the men’s singles. He was the first local tennis player to take to the court. Tennis team manager, Thabang Mokhehle, said she was happy the team had started on the right footing. “I am happy he won but I am still scared because basically in tennis an opening match is just nothing,” Mokhehle said. “I am also crossing my fingers that the rest of the team will win all their matches and proceed to the next stage of the tournament.”