The senior national men’s soccer team Likuena played to a goalless stalemate in the first leg of their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) preliminary round in Mauritius at the Cote D’or Stadium against Seychelles.
The game was played in Mauritius because Seychelles has no stadium that meets international standards according to Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The visitors had more opportunities in the first half and enjoyed much of the possession but lacked precision and conversion of goals though they created a number of good scoring opportunities.
In the 27th minute Lesotho was awarded a penalty after a ball was handled in the area, where Lehlohonolo Fothoane stepped-up to take the penalty but missed.
More chances were created by the visitors that seemed determined to take the game to their opponents. Fothoane was once again denied a clear goal scoring opportunity by Seychelles’ goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall in the 41st minute.
Just before the break Kopano Tseka had the ball in the back of the net from a corner kick, which was alas, denied for a foul in the box.
After the half-time break, Coach Vaselin Jelusic brought in Motebang Sera and Tumelo Khutlang for Tšoarelo Bereng and Fothoane a bid to get goals.
Though the home side was clearly not attacking, Likuena was struggling to find goals with Sera failing on a one-on-one while Khutlang’s shot hit the woodwork a few minutes later.
Coach Jelusic acknowledged that going forward the team shall be more clinical with intent of getting goals.
“We created few chances but we couldn’t convert them. We also didn’t take advantage by converting the penalty that we had,” Jelusic said, adding that he was happy with the commitment that the team showed in the game.
“We are all satisfied with the commitment of the team and we are hopeful that in the second leg we will have better opportunities and score goals and win the game,” he said.
The draw means that Likuena has to win the second leg of the clash at all costs if it is to keep its hopes of progressing to the next stage of the continental showpiece. The second leg of the tie will be played at the Dobsonville Stadium in South Africa where Lesotho will be hosting its home game.
Kick off will be at 16:00