Lack of ex­po­sure Makoanyane XI’S un­do­ing

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

MAKOANYANE XI’S hopes of qual­i­fy­ing for the 2017 Africa Un­der-20 Cup of Na­tions tour­na­ment to be held in Zam­bia hang by a thread after the na­tional un­der-20 team slumped to a 2-0 de­feat at home to South Africa’s Ama­jita on Sun­day.

While there re­mains a math­e­mat­i­cal pos­si­bil­ity that our boys can turn the ta­bles in the re­verse fix­ture, it will take an ex­cep­tional per­for­mance be­cause the South Africans have a com­mand­ing lead.

In my view, Makoanyane XI were not out­played as the re­sult sug­gests. It was more down to Ama­jita’s ex­pe­ri­ence and qual­ity which earned them an early goal. The early ad­van­tage ul­ti­mately gal­vanised the South Africans to so­lid­ify the lead in the sec­ond­half.

In con­trast, Makoanyane XI failed to mount a co­he­sive and ef­fec­tive of­fen­sive. Ama­jita edged our boys pri­mar­ily be­cause they play more reg­u­larly and at a higher level.

Over the years, I have be­moaned the lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties our play­ers have in com­pet­ing at the in­ter­na­tional level. Re­sul­tantly, the lack of ex­po­sure works against them as they come up short, which was the case against South Africa on Sun­day.

The way for­ward is for the Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (LEFA) to en­sure that ju­nior teams par­tic­i­pate in in­ter­na­tional youth tour­na­ments. Go­ing toe to toe with other coun­tries at ju­nior lev­els will give our play­ers the met­tle needed to per­form at ma­jor tour­neys.

Notwith­stand­ing spon­sor­ship con­straints, I think it is im­per­a­tive for LEFA to in­tro­duce a re­serve league to ac­com­mo­date the un­der-20 play­ers since some of them don’t play reg­u­larly at their clubs.

The South Africans re­cently in­tro­duce­do­duced a re­serve league from which the bulkk of the Ama­jita squad that wal­loped Makoanyane yane XI em­anates.

The re­serve league is very com­pet­i­tiveive and also en­ables se­nior play­ers from topp flight teams to play if they are not get­ting enough game time.

In his post-match re­marks, Makoanyaneanyane XI coach Mot­lalepula Ma­joro partly at­trib­uted the loss to the ab­sence of strik­erer Ro­moaba Koloti who missed the match due to in­jury.

While Ma­joro un­der­stand­ably pinnedned his hopes on Koloti, given his pro­lifi­cific form, foot­ball re­mains a team sport.

Koloti had an out­stand­ing sea­son at club level and also scored against Mozam­bique to en­sure Makoanyane XI’S progress in the qual­i­fiers to face Ama­jita.ta.

How­ever, the fact re­mains that Ma­jorooro should al­ways be spoilt for choice whenn it comes to se­lect­ing play­ers.

Sun­day’s de­feat should serve as a wakeup call on the need for a larger poolool of play­ers with the right ex­po­sure and ex­pe­ri­ence to com­pete against any coun­tryn­try and qual­ify for con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tions.ns.

makoanyane XI coach Mot­lalepula Ma­joro.

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