Matete blames misfiring players
National team interim coach, Seephephe Matete, lamented poor finishing after Lesotho’s were booted out of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers by the Comoros this week.
The two nations drew 1-1 at Setsoto stadium on Tuesday night after a goalless draw in the first leg match last week in Moroni.
However, the islanders progressed to the next stage of the qualifiers due to the away-goals rule.
This is the first time the Comoros have made it past the preliminary stage of a big competition, which is why Likuena should be ashamed of making such unfortunate history.
However, Matete — who left with his underperforming charges yesterday for Bulawayo where they face Zimbabwe on Sunday in the last qualifier of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) — has blamed his players’ failure to score for the Comoros debacle.
“This is what happens when you don’t take your chances,” Matete said after the match.
“We had several chances to kill the game after we opened the scoring, but our finishing was very poor and we paid the prize in the end.”
Matete insisted his team should have comfortably beaten the Comoros because of the game-plan he had in place.
“We came here with a plan and that was to play Tšepo Seturumane as our chief striker,” explained Matete.
“That change seemed to be working as he scored early in the match.
“Because we wanted to score many goals, we introduced another striker in the second half. But we could not capitalise on the chances we created, and we got punished for it.”
The veteran coach said Likuena now have to switch their focus to the Zimbabwe tie, whose return leg takes place two weeks later at Setsoto stadium.
“We have lost and we are disappointed, but our focus is now on recovering and the Zimbabwe tie,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Tuesday’s match, Likuena took the lead in the 21st minute through a header by Tšepo Seturumane following a tantalising cross from midfielder Jerry Kamele.
However, the striker also squandered numerous chances alongside Bushy Moletsane and Lekhanya Lekhanya.
France-based Mahamed M’changana then scored the equaliser in the 71st min- ute, breaking the hearts of Basotho in the process.
Former Likuena striker Motlatsi Shale says the ball is now in the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) court as far as the way forward is concerned.
“We can say all of sorts of things, but it will not make any difference because we are out of the World Cup.
“Everything is now in the hands of lefa officials; they have to give their side of the story regarding the poor performance of the national team,” Shale said.
“If LEFA officials are happy with what is happening, they have to come out and say so. For me, what is happening with the team is not right. Being booted out of a competition by a team as poor as the Comoros is a disgrace, to say the least. We should have scored many goals even by the half-time break, but this was not the case.”