Likuena secure spot in Afcon group stage
Lesotho secured a spot in the Group phase of the qualifiers for the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifier following a 3-1 aggregate victory of Seychelles.
The two countries had a lot to play for on Sunday after their first-leg encounter ended in a goalless stalemate four-days ago at the Cote D’OR Stadium in Mauritius
Lesotho was quick off the mark in the second leg match at Dobsonville Stadium, scoring two goals within the first ten minutes of the game through Katleho Makateng and Motebang Sera.
The opening exchanges of the match were a one-way traffic with Lesotho creating chance after chance, but once again being let down by poor finishing just like in the first leg match, where they also missed a penalty.
Seychelles were able to find their way back into the match mid-day through the first half and their efforts were rewarded with a penalty after Rethabile Rasethuntṧa fouled their player inside the penalty box.
Perry Ernesta stepped up to the task and beat Lesotho goalkeeper Sekhoane Moerane from the spot to give Seychelles hope of a comeback.
The goal seemed to revive the Islanders as they put the home side under pressure in search for an equalising goal, but Lesotho was able to withstand their pressure as the match headed to the half-time break at 2-1 in favour of the home team.
Lesotho coach Veselin Jelusic reacted by taking off debutant Refiloe Mothae and bringing in Letlatsa Moshoeshoe, who was also winning his first cap.
The move worked wonders for Lesotho as they regained the upper hand again in the midfielder and came close to adding the third goal with Sera denied his second of the day by the woodwork.
Lesotho was able to finally put the game to bed with a third goal as the match headed towards the final whistle with Makateng scoring his second of the day after Seychelles failed to clear their lines.
Veselin Jelusic’s side earned a spot in the group phase of the qualifiers along with the likes of Botswana, Eswatini, Sao Tome and South Sudan, who all had to find their way from the preliminary round of the competition.