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Likuena, Swaziland in dull goalless draw

Teboho Molapo

Lesotho . . . . . . (0) 0
Swaziland . . . . (0) 0

MASERU — Leslie Notši’s era with Likuena got off to an inauspicious start at the Setsoto Stadium yesterday as Lesotho played to a dull goalless draw with Swaziland.
The game itself was a practice match, with little riding on it, but it was still a chance to catch a sneak preview of what to expect from the new national side after two years in the wilderness.
The match was ended 14 minutes earlier because of poor lighting.
There were a couple of surprising selections in the starting line-up and Tsebang Lebata was the only player from Notši’s Under-20 side to start the game.
Tunisia-based Bokang Mothoana surprisingly started the game at left-back and he was Lesotho’s best player throughout.
Mothoana has been training with the squad but wasn’t expected to feature because he was a recovering from injury.
His set-pieces looked Lesotho’s most likely avenue for a goal in the first half, as he twice shaved the woodwork. In the 24th minute his ditch tackle prevented Taribo Bhembe from giving the visitors the lead.
The other surprising selection was that of Thulo Ranchobe. His combination upfront with Dlomo Monapathi fired blanks. The two were unable to combine to finish a good chance early in the second half.
But Notši, who cut his squad down to 25 players on Tuesday, will have been heartened by the application his side showed throughout the game.
The defence too looked well managed and, although the team looked rusty, costly turnovers were kept at a minimum.
Chances were few and far between for both sides with the slippery skills of Tšeliso Sejake bringing Lesotho’s best opportunity and Swaziland testing Mohau Kuenane from long range.
Likuena will face Swaziland again tomorrow at the national stadium, after a match between LCS and an A-Division select team, as Lesotho continues to prepare for a 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Burundi in November.
There were positives from yesterday’s performance but it’s clear the team is still a work in progress ahead of that vital game against Burundi.

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