South Africa thump Lesotho to reach COSAFA semis

South Africa thump Lesotho to reach COSAFA semis
Motebang Sera of Lesotho challenged by Njabulo Ngcobo of South Africa during the 2021 COSAFA Cup match between South Africa and Lesotho at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, on 13 July 2021 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Helder Ribiero

Tuesday Jul 13, 2021. 17:24

South Africa secured a 4-0 victory over Lesotho in the COSAFA Cup Group A match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

As a result, Bafana Bafana progressed to the semi-finals with a game to spare, while Likuena crashed out of the Southern African tournament.

Bafana Bafana dominated the match from the start and they grabbed an early goal when Victor Letsoalo headed home Sifiso Ngobeni’s cross to hand South Africa a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute.

Lesotho were struggling to deal with crosses that were played into their area with full-backs Ngobeni and Nyiko Mobbie delivering some quality balls from the flanks.

Mobbie’s played a low cross into the Likuena box which goalkeeper Jersey Matsie failed to hold and Sphelele Mkhulise’s scored from close range to make it 2-0 to South Africa in the 20th minute.

Letsoalo was a constant threat to the Likuena defence and he grabbed his brace after he was sent through on goal and he beat Matsie to make it 3-0 to South Africa a minute before half-time.

Bafana continued their dominance after the restart and they deservedly extended their lead three minutes before the hour-mark.

Austin Dube set-up Letsoalo, who scored with a simple tap in to make it 4-0 to South Africa as the Bloemfontein Celtic marksman became the first player to score a hat-trick for Bafana on debut.

Thabiso Brown, who is an attacker by trade, was introduced by coach Leslie Notsi in the 73rd minute as Lesotho looked to pull one back.

However, Likuena were struggling to create chances with Bafana’s interim coach Morena Ramoreboli having introduced defenders Basil Mphahlele and Ayabulela Konqobe.

Ultimately, the match ended in a 4-0 victory in favour of South Africa, who maintained their perfect record in the tournament having won three successive Group A matches.

South Africa (3) 4 (Letsoalo 5′, 44′, 57′, Mkhulise 20′)

Lesotho (0) 0

South Africa: Mothwa, Mobbie, Ngcobo, De Reuck (Mphahlele 71′), Dube, Ngobeni, Maart, Mkhulise (Maboe 46′), Sithebe (Konqobe 65′), Saleng (Malinga 46′), Letsoalo (Sibanyoni 72′).

Lesotho: Matsie, Rasethuntsa, Makepe, Toloane, Lebokollane, Makha (Brown 73′), Sera, Fothoane (Mohloai 84′), Mari (Nkoto 46′), Malane, Khutlang (Thaba-Ntso 84′).

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