MASERU — Bokang Mothoana’s dream of leading his Union Sportive Monastir team into the Tunisia Cup final for the second time went up in smoke when his side lost in the quarter-finals to giants Esperance Tunis on Wednesday.
Monastir were hammered 4-1 to shatter their dream of making it into the finals for the second time since 2009.
A disappointed Mothoana, popularly known as Lefty, told the Sunday Express that he is now turning his efforts towards helping his club win promotion back into Tunisia’s top flight league.
The quarter-final loss was Monastir’s second on the spin after a 1-0 league loss to LPTS Tozuer last Sunday.
Speaking to the Sunday Express on Friday, Mothoana said the loss to Esperance was a bitter pill to swallow.
“The game was tough with both teams playing cautiously not to concede an early goal and we went to the break goalless,” Mothoana said. “(But) we lost concentration in the middle of the second half and paid a heavy price by conceding two silly goals.”
Mothoana said Monastir were affected by the dismissal of their goalkeeper in the second half, which he said was one of the few match-changing decisions by the referee.
“We pulled one back and started searching for an equaliser but unfortunately it didn’t come,” he said.
“We could have kept our concentration high even after the referee’s decisions but they cost us the game because he allowed a dubious goal and gave our goalkeeper a red card,” Lefty said.
Nevertheless, Monastir are still well placed to gain immediate promotion back into the Tunisian premier league, Ligue 1.
They have 41 points at the top of Ligue 2 ahead of ES Beni Khalled in second with 38 and third-placed AS Djerba who have 34 points.
There are five games to play before the end of the season.
Monastir’s remaining games are against Maknine, CS Msaken, Olympique du Kef, Kasserine and US Ben Guerdane.
“Now we are shifting our focus on promotion. We are still in a very good position. All we have to do is to win two games (to secure promotion),” the Lesotho international said.
“All the matches are not going to be easy as some of the teams we are playing against are fighting to stay in the second division. But I’m still very confident that we are going to win Ligue 2.”