Greet­ings from Rusten­burg

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

THE 2015 Coun­cil of South­ern Africa Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tions (Cosafa) tour­na­ment got un­der­way here on Sun­day but beloved Likuena were only in ac­tion the fol­low­ing day, los­ing 2-1 to Mada­gas­car.

Well, where do I start? We lost against a very weak Mada­gas­car side that cel­e­brated so wildly af­ter the match as if they had won the World Cup.

Our team, Likuena, were the bet­ter side from word go and should have gone to the break lead­ing 3-0 at least.

how­ever, they only man­aged a sin­gle goal through Thapelo Tale, and then al­lowed their op­po­nents to roar back and win the tie.

I have al­ways had a lot to say about our ever-de­clin­ing foot­ball stan­dards and I feel there is re­ally noth­ing to add.

But still I would like to ask: What has gone wrong with our foot­ball that we can­not even beat a team like Mada­gas­car, which is not a pow­er­house at all?

Coach Seep­hephe Matete had his strong­est pos­si­ble team for Mon­day’s tie and the ma­jor­ity of the play­ers have been in­volved in nu­mer­ous World Cup and Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fiers be­fore.

Yet on Mon­day, this team failed to beat a very av­er­age side, which never takes its foot­ball that se­ri­ous.

Le­sotho went as far as bring­ing Amer­ica-based Jane ‘Sunny’ Tšotleho to the re­gional tour­na­ment, when other coun­tries have brought very in­ex­pe­ri­enced teams to the com­pe­ti­tion.

So I ask again — where have we gone wrong as a coun­try? Is it lack of com­mit­ment from the play­ers or our coach­ing sys­tem, which could be se­ri­ously flawed?

Some fans back home might say they were not sur­prised with Mon­day’s re­sult be­cause the play­ers were not con­vinc­ing at all in the friendly they had against South Africa just be­fore de­part­ing for this tour­na­ment.

In fact, the ‘B’ team coached by Moses Maliehe which played the same Bafana Bafana two days later did a much bet­ter job, which is why I agree with them that some of the ‘B’ team mem­bers should have been here rep­re­sent­ing the na­tion be­cause I am con­vinced they could have fared much bet­ter.

The bot­tom line is the cur­rent Likuena squad is poor in al­most ev­ery depart­ment.

The de­fence is no longer that solid and con­ceded very soft goals on Mon­day.

I think it’s time we learn from coun­tries such as Zim­babwe who have brought a com­pletely dif­fer­ent team to the one they had in Zam­bia in 2013.

For our coun­try, they al­ways come with a team of ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paign­ers, yet still dis­ap­point, apart from the 2013 edi­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion where we man­aged to get to the semi-fi­nals.

Los­ing to Mada­gas­car is re­ally un­ac­cept­able and I ex­pect the Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Lefa) to crack the whip if this team ex­its this tour­na­ment in the group stage.

We can­not al­low this kind of medi­ocrity to con­tinue be­cause this is re­ally bring­ing the coun­try’s name into dis­re­pute.

It’s time we treat foot­ball with the re­spect it de­serves and I will be watch­ing the process close be­cause I feel the whole coun­try will be ex­pect­ing Lefa pres­i­dent, Sale­mane Phafane and his com­mit­tee, to re­act af­ter such a tame per­for­mance.

I have sup­ported Likuena for so long, but I have lost hope now, and joined those who say we should have sent the younger lads who im­pressed against South Africa last Satur­day.

We have put too much trust in the likes of Bushy Mo­let­sane, but it’s ob­vi­ous they can­not per­form any more.

Our play­ers are the old­est in this com­pe­ti­tion and one would have nat­u­rally ex­pected them to do much bet­ter.

But on Mon­day, they re­ally let our na­tion down and should be ashamed of that kind of dis­play.

I guess the coaches are pay­ing the price for be­ing too loyal to some of th­ese play­ers, and leav­ing out those who have been per­form­ing week-in-and-and-week­out at club level.

The fact that our two strik­ers, Thapelo Tale and Nkoto Ma­soabi, could not even man­age five goals apiece the en­tire 2014/15 pre­mier league sea­son tells you that our hopes for suc­cess at this tour­na­ment were mis­placed.

Likuena in­terim coach Seep­hephe Matete (right) and mid­fielder Jane Tšotleho.

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