Lesotho boys sent Malawi packing out of the Cosafa Castle Cup after a 1-0 group stage victory at the Sam Nujoma Stadium yesterday. Archives have it that the two teams met twice in the same competition in 2005 and 2008 with Malawi taking both victories. This time around, redemption served its course as the Likuena boys refused to remain in the shadows. The game started with Malawi taking the pressure onto the other side of the field. Already in the first 5 minutes, Malawi recorded numerous shots on target but were refused to meet the net. When the pressure was turning into a threat, Lesotho came out with longer stretched balls to also wake the Malawian goalie. The Lesotho boys kept coming but The Flames’ defence remained compact and hard to crack. Technically, Malawi enjoyed superior ball possession, but Lesotho always came out to be the bigger threats whenever they attacked. One such occasion was when Jane Thaba-Ntso orchestrated clinical artwork by penetrating the Malawian defence to release a thundershot but unfortunately was denied the lead in the first half. The game was goalless by halftime.
The second half continued with the same possession with Lesotho refusing to let any balls through. Malawian Gabadinho Mhango became problematic, as he was almost difficult to cover. He produced a few close shots to the eye of goalie Daniel Jousse but could not convert any. Lesotho finally crafted a well-orchestrated display of winning vibes with a cross from Thabo Seakhoa that landed on the head of Thaba-Ntso to register their first goal and a foot in the quarterfinals. The leaders then put up a good defending game until the last whistle that blew in their favour. “It is mission accomplished. We knew it was not going to be an easy game but we had a strategy and it worked,” said Lesotho coach, Moses Maliehe. This means Lesotho face South Africa on Saturday, 18 June, 15h00 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.