The Lesotho National Under-17 team-Bahlabani were on Tuesday eliminated from the regional COSAFA Under-17 Championship held  in Malawi in the group stage for the second successive year.

The Halemakale Mahlaha coached side departed the tournament in the group stage having lost all their three matches to Comoros, Angola and Mozambique respectively.

Mahlaha, who was in charge of the team for his second COSAFA Championship, bemoaned the absence of his key players that had to be dropped from the team on the eleventh hour due school commitments.

“Firstly, I congratulate the Mozambique coach and his team that they have managed to progress to the next round of tournament. I hope they progress further,” Mahlaha told a press conference.

“We lost and we are out of the tournament. We are going back home to try and build a better team that will help us compete in the next year’s COSAFA tournament.

“The tournament was very competitive, but we had a few problems before we came here. We had to make a number of changes to the team in the eleventh hour bringing in new faces as some of our regular players withdrew from the squad as they had to sit for their final examinations back home.

“All in all, I’m happy on how the new faces in the team responded despite their late call-ups to the team.”