Bantu a big let down

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

BANTU’S per­for­mance in Sun­day’s pre­lim­i­nary round, sec­ond-leg tie of the 2015 African Cham­pi­ons League against AS Man­gas­port of Gabon at Set­soto Sta­dium was so poor I now doubt our teams’ abil­ity to per­form at the high­est level.

Although the week­end match ended goal­less, A Matšo Mate­bele crashed out of the com­pe­ti­tion on a 1-0 ag­gre­gate score due to their first-leg loss away in Gabon two weeks ago.

Yet if there was ever a chance for Le­sotho to shine, this was it and Bantu blew this great op­por­tu­nity with a show­ing as pedes­trian as it was shame­ful if not an out­right dis­grace.the bot­tom line is noth­ing im­pressed me on Sun­day. Bantu looked like a team that did not have a game-plan and played the worst foot­ball I have ever wit­nessed from a Le­sotho team in this com­pe­ti­tion.

our teams have largely been very poor in away matches, but mostly win their home ties, de­light­ing the fans with good foot­ball which sadly, was not the case for Bantu on Sun­day.

I was closely fol­low­ing the team’s prepa­ra­tions for the con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tion and be­lieve the play­ers re­ally let down their man­age­ment be­cause they were given ev­ery­thing they needed to beat Man­gas­port.

But maybe the bright side of this de­ba­cle was it gave Bantu the op­por­tu­nity to learn one or two things about com­pe­ti­tion at the high­est level of African foot­ball, where sound plan­ning by the coaches is para­mount, and the play­ers’ com­mit­ment equally cru­cial.

A Matšo Mate­bele have been do­ing pretty well on the do­mes­tic scene, and I had such con­fi­dence in their abil­ity to shine in their maiden ap­pear­ance in this com­pe­ti­tion.

And af­ter los­ing 1-0 in Moanda, I had been so con­fi­dent Mot­latsi Shale’s charges would steam­roll the Gabonese side in the re­turn leg, which how­ever, proved to be mis­placed op­ti­mism.

Not only were the play­ers tech­ni­cally de­fi­cient, they did not show the hunger needed to win at this level of com­pe­ti­tion and from what I have seen of our teams over the years — Li­oli, LCS, Mat­lama and now Bantu — I don’t think we will im­prove any­time soon in th­ese con­ti­nen­tal tour­na­ments.

Af­ter crash­ing out of th­ese tour­na­ments, we al­most al­ways blame the coaches but this time around, Bantu play­ers should shoul­der most of the blame for their fail­ure to rise to the oc­ca­sion on such a cru­cial day.

I think even if the match had gone on for the en­tire day, Bantu were not go­ing to score — such was their lethargy on the for­get­table af­ter­noon.and on the back of such a poor show, we surely can­not ex­pect Likuena to do any bet­ter for the sim­ple rea­son that the na­tional team draws play­ers from our pre­mier league.

For me, it’s very dis­turb­ing that to this day Likuena are yet to qual­ify for a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, par­tic­u­larly the Africa Cup of

Na­tions (Af­con).i feel the whole sad sit­u­a­tion re­quires a foot­ball ind­aba to plot the way for­ward be­cause our foot­ball devel­op­ment has stag­nated, if not re­gressed, over the years.

the coun­try can­not af­ford to waste money on teams that fail so dis­mally and we need to in­tro­spect and see where we are go­ing wrong as a na­tion. some­thing is surely not right with our foot­ball and the sooner we hold se­ri­ous dis­cus­sions about it, the bet­ter for the na­tion.

It is un­der­stand­able when we lose to the big guns of con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball, but it’s an ab­so­lute dis­grace that Bantu were so ter­ri­ble against a Gabon side that also looked out of its depth in this tour­na­ment.

A few years ago, the Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion de­cided to with­draw Likuena from com­pe­ti­tions and fo­cus on re­build­ing the team.

Yet based on what has tran­spired since then, I doubt the move has pro­duced the de­sired out­come so rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers should go back to the drawing board and come up with an­other res­cue plan for our game.

Open­ing bats­man Hashim Amla hit 159 runs against ire­land on Tues­day to put South Africa on course for their sec­ond World Cup ti­tle. The proteas face pak­istan on Satur­day as the World Cup tour­na­ment con­tin­ues in Australia and new Zealand.

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