MASERU — Likuena’s hopes of qualifying for a major football tournament suffered a huge blow after the Lesotho team were hammered 4-0 by Zambia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola yesterday.
The Lesotho team had to play without injured Bokang Mothoana which saw Ngoako Mapheele of Lioli starting in the left back position for the first time in this World Cup campaign. Mohau Kuenane was also restored in goals following Kholuoe Phasumane’s blunders in last Sunday 0-2 loss to South Africa.
Zambia scored the first goal in the 35th minute of the match while the other goals came in the second half.
The home team’s goals came through a Jacob Mulenga brace while Christopher Katongo and Collins Mbesuma completed the rout against Lesotho. Former Likuena captain, Tšepo Hlojeng, told the Sunday Express that Lesotho’s continuing poor showing at the bigger stage is a reflection of the poor standards of football in the country.
“The loss gives us a picture of the poor standard of our league and football in general,” Hlojeng said. The retired former defender said there is still a long way for the country to go before they compete with the big boys on the continent. “We cannot expect miracles from this team when everyone can see that our league is not producing quality,” he said.
Hlojeng said it is time for those in charge of football to go back to the drawing board. He said if changes are not made quickly the country will continue to become the whipping boys of African football. Hlojeng said it was all clear from the 0-2 loss to South Africa in last Sunday that the team would lose to Zambia.
“A lot of people said the team showed promise, but I feel we were outclassed in all the departments,” said Hlojeng.
He said Likuena could not compete with South Afica physically and tactically. “We have to go back to the drawing board, have a vision and come up with good strategies to improve the standards of the game,” he said. Likuena opened the World Cup campaign with a 0-7 loss to Ghana following shambolic travelling arrangements to the West African country.
Leslie Notši’s team then played two back-to-back draws against Sudan and Zambia here at home. They host Ghana next Sunday at Setsoto Stadium before their last match away to Sudan later this year. Meanwhile, Ghana beat Sudan 3-1 away in Khartoum on Friday night in the other Group D tie.