MASERU-The Lesotho soccer team are out of the 2013 African Cup of Nations tournament after drawing 0-0 with São Tomé and Príncipe in the reverse fixture, preliminary round qualifier at the Setsoto Stadium yesterday.
After losing the first leg 1-0 in São Tomé last weekend, Likuena needed a 2-0 win in yesterday’s fixture in order to proceed to the next round of the competition.
But Leslie Notši’s charges could not score the much-needed goals, with striker, Thapelo Tale, wasting a gilt-edged chance in the dying minutes of the game, to complete a miserable afternoon for the home side. The Serbia-based hitman was unmarked in the box, but shot over the crossbar—much to the disbelief of the estimated 6000-strong crowd.
Had Tale found the back of the net and the match ended 1-all, the winner match would have been decided on penalties.
Yet Lesotho were their own worst enemies, as they took time to find their rhythm, thereby allowing their opponents to settle down and dictate pace. The home team came out a better side in the second half, piling on the pressure, but the visitors held firm.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s defeat means Likuena still remain in contention for a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament to be held in Brazil, and face Ghana in March to kick-start their Group D campaign.