Burkina Faso…(1) 2
Likuena were beaten 2-0 by Burkina Faso last night in their opening 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group C qualifier.
Head-coach, Seephephe ‘Mochini’ Matete, made a single change to the team that played to a goalless draw away to Kenya in their last qualifier, with Lioli’s Basia Makepe partnering Nkau Lerotholi in central defence, after veteran captain, Moitheri Ntobo, failed to play due to injury.
The national soccer team, popularly known as Likuena, conceded the first goal in the 11th minute when striker Jonathan Pitroipa beat goalkeeper Mohau Kuenane from close range.
The Stallions doubled their lead in the second half, as another striker, Alain Traore, blasted home in the 49th minute to stun the battling Likuena.
After the home side scored their second goal, Matete brought in speedy striker, Thapelo Tale, for Ralekoti Mokhahlane, while Tšepo Lekhooana also made way for Thabo Masualle.
Likuena were also dealt a body-blow after Nkau Lerotholi was shown a red card in the 80th minute and had to play the last ten minutes of the match one man short.
Likuena, who only trained together once before their trip to the West African country on Wednesday due to lack of funds, are expected in the country tomorrow and host Gabon at Setsoto stadium on Wednesday in their second match of the continental qualifiers. In addition to Gabon, and Burkina Faso, Lesotho also play Angola in Group C of the final phase of the qualifiers, who winner and runner-up automatically qualify for the final tournament in Morocco next year.
Former national team striker, Teele Ntšonyana, last night told the Sunday Express that the players should hold their heads high after their display, considering the uncertainty that had surrounded their trip, which was only confirmed at the 11th hour on Wednesday.
“To be honest, I think our team did very well, considering the uncertainty that surrounded their trip to Burkina Faso,” Ntšonyane said.
“It could have been worse because Burkina Faso are a very good side that has been on the rise in the last two years.”
Meanwhile, in the other Group C match, Gabon beat Angola 1-0 in Libreville.
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