SAM Ketsekile was the hero yesterday afternoon saving two penalties to help Likuena edge Uganda 3-2 on penalties to advance to the COSAFA semi-finals at Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban.
The match ended goalless before Tšoanelo Koetle, Hlompho Kalake and Motebang Sera all scored their penalties while Tswarelo Bereng missed for Lesotho.
Ketsekile saved two penalties and Uganda missed one which went over the bar.
Likuena started the better of the two sides and created two golden opportunities to open the scoring within the first 10 minutes but failed to score.
The Cranes of Uganda finally found their feet and also started to attack creating goal scoring chances but Ketsekile stood his ground to keep the opponents at bay.
The Cranes continued to dominate the match until the break.
Second half was more exciting with both teams attacking from end to end.
Likuena made the first substitutes introducing the duo of Jane Thabantšo and Motebang Sera for Nkoto Masoabi and Tumelo Khutlang on the 55th minute.
Sera exerted pressure on the Uganda defence and his efforts came close to paying off but Likuena were unlucky as Bereng’s cracker from a smooth exchange between Sera and Thabantšo found the upright.
Likuena were caught on the break a minute later but Ketsekile was once again on top of his game as he produced yet another save to deny Uganda a goal.
Last change saw Tšepo Toloane coming in for Lehlohonolo Fothoane.
Likuena could have found the lead on the 75th minute but were unlucky as Thabantso’s header from Kalake cross down the right flank was ruled off-side.
Ten minutes later, Likuena were again left questioning the officiating as Sera’s goal was also ruled off-side.
However, the Mpitsa Marai coached outfit managed to do the job from the spot converting three.
In post-match interview with Supersport Marai said happy man that they have exacted revenge on Uganda who beat them in back-to-back AFCON qualifiers last November.
“I am happy with the results because it was not an easy match but this was indeed payback time for Uganda,” Marai said.
Likuena will play today’s winners in the match pitying South Africa and Botswana.