Page 1

Sport Public Eye

June 15, 2018

Why Lesotho can only watch W’Cup from far NTHAKO MAJORO

M

ASERU - There is no denying the fact that the pinnacle of football is the World Cup and that’s where every country wishes to

play. Lesotho is, of course, no exception but the Mountain Kingdom struggles to even win the regional Cosafa Cup, not to mention the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). This, in other words, means Lesotho is not even close to qualifying for the World Cup. Former Likuena head coaches Monaheng Doc Monyane and Seepheephe ‘Mochini’ Matete however contend that Lesotho can still make it to the World Cup. Their argument is, while there is plenty of talent in Lesotho, the biggest problem is lack of urgency among Basotho in general. “We are not that far to reach a level where we could be recognised in the world. Look where Saudi Arabia are now,” said Monyane in an interview with Public Eye yesterday. Monyane, who is the only coach to guide Lesotho to the Cosafa Cup final in 2000, says for Lesotho to realise a dream of that magnitude, local football administrators must start taking things seriously. “It is just a matter of knowing how to organise ourselves, and on top of that we need the right people at the planning level and they must be serious. “I think we need to be honest and more uncompromising

in our thinking, unlike now when we seem to be taking things as lightly as possible.” Monyane further says: “It is true we are not honest but we have talent, and nothing can prevent us from reaching the highest stage in football, nothing at all.” He says in the past, Likuena used to perform well in Cosafa tournaments irrespective of the limited time the team has always had to prepare because back then football was serious business. “Like I said in the past, even with limited time to prepare, we would still perform better than we do now under similar circumstances.” Monyane says although they still had such problems, they at least still managed to organise themselves well. “Of course we need to be honest and find out why we are still where we are today before we can work on the way forward. “But now you would find that most of the time we tend to ignore the problem.” Monyane further says: “We need introspection, particularly at administrative level.” The symposia Lesotho football administrators have attended over the years on football matters were a waste of time, according to Monyane. For his part, Matete argues that Basotho’s mentality towards football should first change. “First of all it is our mentality as Basotho in general. We need to take football as our number one

sport,” Matete says. “By saying so I mean government also should prioritise sport.” Matete says when the government prioritises sport, it will ensure that all the essential infrastructure is up to standard. “But when we don’t have infrastructure like now, our chances of qualifying for the World Cup will always remain close to impossible. “Because when you look at the countries that qualify for the World Cup, you will realise that they already have talent and good infrastructure.” Matete again says football is already a popular sport in Lesotho adding to develop good players, no miracles are expected. “Football is already the number one sport in Lesotho and what we need is for the government to introduce physical education at primary schools. “That will help a lot since our children will be the necessary development from an early age. Matete further says: “This is because football starts at primary level and it has no short cuts. As coaches, we can just go and watch them play, and thereafter come up with programmes for the under-8, under-10 and under-12.” Matete says this is an area where successful teams in Europe are at their best, which unfortunately is not the case in Lesotho. He says despite knowing that it is crucial to develop players from that early age, in Lesotho children start only playing football when they are between the ages of 12 and 13. “So there are stages that we skip like from six until we reach 12. And when you skip such stages, there is no turning back. We call such stages ‘the fundamental age’. That’s where you teach a child how to head and to pass the ball, among other things.” Matete says that is where children learn fast, an area where Basotho fail considerably. . He says if they can go through these accordingly, they could win the Cosafa Cup with so much ease and make it to the AFCON and finally the World Cup.


20

Public Eye

Friday June 15, 2018

International World Affairs Sport News

TABLES GROUP A

GP W

D

L

GD

P

Russia

1

1

0

0

+5

3

Egypt

0

0

0

0

0

0

Uruguay

0

0

0

0

0

0

Saudi Arabia 1

0

0

1

-5

0

GP W

D

L

GD

P

Portugal

0

0

0

0

0

0

Spain

0

0

0

0

0

0

Morocco

0

0

0

0

0

0

Iran

0

0

0

0

0

0

GP W

D

L

GD

P

France

0

0

0

0

0

0

Australia

0

0

0

0

0

0

Peru

0

0

0

0

0

0

Denmark

0

0

0

0

0

0

GP W

D

L

GD

P

Argentina

0

0

0

0

0

0

Iceland

0

0

0

0

0

0

Croatia

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nigeria

0

0

0

0

0

0

GP W

D

L

GD

P

Brazil

0

0

0

0

0

0

Switzerland

0

0

0

0

0

0

Costa Rica

0

0

0

0

0

0

Serbia

0

0

0

0

0

0

GP W

D

L

GD

P

Germany

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mexico

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sweden

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Korea

0

0

0

0

0

0

GP W

D

L

GD

P

Belgium

0

0

0

0

0

0

Panama

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tunisia

0

0

0

0

0

0

England

0

0

0

0

0

0

GP W

D

L

GD

P

Poland

0

0

0

0

0

0

Senegal

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colombia

0

0

0

0

0

0

Japan

0

0

0

0

0

0

GROUP B

GROUP C

GROUP D

Group E

Group F

GROUP G

GROUP H

Hosts Russia got their World Cup off to a dream start with a thumping 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in Moscow yesterday

Adverts


Public Eye

Friday June 15, 2018 21

International Sport Adverts News

World Cup hosts Russia ease to victory M

OSCOW - Three quick points on Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia in their Group A opener at the World Cup on Thursday afternoon. It was a game that many in Russia had feared could turn into an embarrassment, but rather than let their country down, Stanislav Cherchesov’s team gave the World Cup a perfect start by cruising to a 5-0 victory against Saudi Arabia in Moscow. The end result was a win beyond Russia’s wildest dreams as the hosts claimed their biggest World Cup victory since defeating Hungary 6-0 in 1986. There are few cliches that hold more truth than a World Cup needing a successful host, and Russia can now throw itself into this tournament in the hope and belief that Cherchesov’s team can progress to the knockout stages. Only South Africa, in 2010, have failed to qualify from the group as the host nation, and Russia must still get a positive result against Egypt and Uruguay to emerge from Group A. But after Iury Gazinsky scored the first goal of this World Cup to give Russia the lead in the 12th minute, a home win was never in doubt, and the feelgood factor this result will now generate is crucial for the tournament as a whole. Russia even overcame the

setback of losing midfielder Alan Dzagoev to a 22nd-minute injury by scoring again through Denis Cheryshev (twice) and Artem Dzyuba to record a convincing victory. Aleksandr Golovin’s stoppage time free-kick to make it 5-0 was the icing on the cake for the Russians. C h e rc h e s ov ’s te a m s t i l l has issues to address, with a distinct lack of pace likely to prove a problem against stronger opponents. But the confidence that this win will generate can ensure that Russia will go into next Tuesday’s clash with Egypt in Saint Petersburg believing they can secure the victory that will confirm a place in the second round. Every World Cup needs the host nation to energise the population, and Russia have ticked that box with this result. Having lost several key players to injury before the World Cup, the loss of Dzagoev to what appeared to be a hamstring pull halfway through the first half of the opening game was merely another setback for coach Cherchesov. D za go ev ’s re p l a c e m e n t , Cheryshev, certainly stepped into the breach by scoring two goals after replacing the CSKA Moscow midfielder, including a stunner to make it 4-0, but the hosts cannot

Russia’s Iury Gazinsky scored the first goal of the 2018 World Cup afford to have their resources depleted even further by the loss of one of their best players. Time will tell whether Dzagoev can overcome his injury in order to play a further part at this World Cup, but the 27-year-old has a chequered fitness record in recent years, with a succession of muscular problems forcing him to miss countless games for club and country. Golovin is the young star of this Russia team, and the CSKA midfielder was impressive against the Saudis, but Dzagoev’s class and experience will be a key loss if he fails to recover in time for the remaining Group A games against Egypt and Uruguay.

Cheryshev showed he can fill the void to a certain extent, and there is no better way to make an impression than by scoring a goal. But the tests will get progressively tougher for the Russians from this point on, and Dzagoev’s absence, if he does suffer a spell on the sidelines, will be felt. The positives for Russia, however, were the performances of Golovin and the defensive displays of Ilya Kutepov and the veteran centre-half Sergei Ignashevich. Perhaps the hosts aren’t quite as bad as has been feared. Russia could not have handpicked a more beatable opponent than Saudi Arabia for their World

Cup opener. Although their World Cup record marks them out as one of the most consistent qualifiers from the Asian Football Confederation, the Saudis have not won a game at the finals since securing victories against Belgium and Morocco at USA ‘94 and had failed to score in five of their last six games at the tournament before this fixture in Moscow. But while Juan Antonio Pizzi’s team are rank outsiders at Russia 2018, they could have done more to exploit the nerves and tension of the hosts inside the Luzhniki. Aside from wing-back Yasser Al Shahrani, who impressed down the left flank, Saudi Arabia offered little and did not even threaten a shot on target. One of the biggest issues they faced was the physical challenge against a much stronger and imposing Russian team. Virtually all of Pizzi’s players lack the physique of players accustomed to performing at the highest level, and it showed in this game, with Russia dominated in every aspect. With their squad all based in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s lack of exposure to games against the elite is another problem they have to overcome to have any hope of competing at this level in the future. - espn

Head of Division: Billing & IT We are one of the most recognizable brands in the world, we are admittedly obsessed with delivering a flawless customer experience, as if that’s not enough, we spend our entire time helping people stay in touch with one another. Once you are here, you will find the freedom to be yourself and the inspiration to do your best. Vodacom Lesotho is seeking Senior Specialist: Health & Safety. The Senior Specialist: Health and Safety will be tasked with the main responsibility of designing and developing safety and wellness policies and procedures to create and maintain a safe working environment. Key deliverables: • Maintain compliance of International Standards, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 and Lesotho Legislation that relates to Health, Safety and Environment (HSE). • Evaluate practises, procedures and facilities to assess risk and adherence to local legislature. • Management of Company’s Health, Safety and Environmental Management System. • Ensure HSE compliance to all contractors and sub-contractors in all Vodacom related projects and coordinate supplier forums. • Ensure that Vodacom operations are aligned with International and Local Safety and Health Regulations The successful candidate will be a People’s person, Customer oriented, self-starter who pays attention to details, is highly ethical and an excellent team player and poses the following qualities: • Outstanding communication and interpersonal abilities • Excellent analytical skills • A great team player. • Leadership skills

Qualifications and Experience • Degree or higher diploma in Occupational Health and Safety If you are seeking that next challenge and feel you could make a difference to our people and want to work for a strong purposeful company then this is your opportunity. Please forward your application with Position and Area as the subject accompanied by a detailed CV and certified copies of educational certificates to: careers@vodacom.co.ls Closing date: 29th June 2018 Should you not be contacted within three weeks after the closing date, please consider your application unsuccessful.


22

Public Eye

Friday June 15 2018

Sport News From The Terraces NTHAKO MAJORO

What’s in store at 2018 W’Cup? The World Cup kicked-off yesterday in Russia and footballing nations from Europe, Africa, the Americas and other continents are keenly curious as to what the global event has in store for them. The past World Cup tournaments were without doubt a spectacle to watch with European countries Germany, Spain and Italy dominating the 2006, 2010 and 2014 editions respectively. Germany as defending world champions are the favourites to win the tournament and that’s what makes this year’s World Cup more interesting to watch for many football lovers from all over the world. The Germans are not only the defending world champions but theirs is also the world’s number one team. That says a lot about the German team’s dominance and current performance. Brazil, Spain and France are also the tournament’s favourites. This goes to show that the quality of football expected at the upcoming tournament is of high standard. The three are former World champions. France made history when they won the 1998 tournament. Brazil last won the cup in 2002 and Spain won the 2010 world show piece in South Africa. Brazil are the world’s number two behind Germany and the South Americans are back where they belong, at the top of the world charts. For years, the Brazilians dominated world football, winning the cup a record five times, which is more than any other nation in the world. It is therefore encouraging to see them back in their old form, as a force to be reckoned with. African countries that have made it into this year’s World Cup include Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria. Looking at the teams’ one can really not say much except wish them good luck. The African continent has over the years produced several world class players such as Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu and Jay-jay Okocha along with Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o among others, but the continent has never tasted the World Cup victory. So it’s long overdue for our African countries to shine at the World Cup. These five countries therefore have a big challenge of putting up good performance in Russia. The fact that none of them is among the favourites tipped to win the cup says a lot about the continent’s lacklustre showing in previous editions of the prestigious event. The Africans’ campaign begins with Egypt today taking on former world champions, Uruguay in Group A. It is the Egyptians duty to therefore inspire the other four African countries by winning their opening match. It is pity that the Egyptian star, Mohamed Salah, might not make into the selection against Uruguay due to arm injury which he sustained in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid last month.

Poor standards betrayed Likuena NTHAKO MAJORO

M

ASERU - Likuena’s tear-jerking loss to Cosafa champions, Warriors of Zimbabwe was a result of varying football standards between the two countries. Likuena lost 3-1 to the Warriors on penalty shoot-outs after the two teams played to a goalless draw in regulation time in the semi-final last Wednesday. This was after Lesotho beat Eswatini (as Swaziland is now called) 1-0 in the quarter finals on June 2. Lesotho again thumped Madagascar 1-0 in a deciding match for the third-place of the tournament last Friday. Likuena’s loss at the hands of Warriors extended to three defeats, the 2000 Cosafa Cup final, last year’ semi-final and this year’ semi-final. The Warriors beat Likuena 6-0 on goalaggregate, 3-0 home and 3-0 away in the 2000 final of the Cosafa Cup, as was then the playing format. In last year’ semi-f inal, the Warriors beat Likuena 4-3 in regulation time. Zimbabwe’s football standard is far better than Lesotho’s. Zimbabwean players are professional while all Lesotho players are amateurs.

NEO SENOKO MASERU – The problem with the senior women national side Mehalalitoe is that there is no base for women football in the country, former president of Lesotho female football, Maleshoane Mokhathi has said. Mokhathi said after the team’s dreams of qualifying for the first ever Women African Cup of Nations were shattered last Sunday when they failed to overturn a 1-0 defeat by Banyana-Banyana of South Africa. What had been expected to be a glorious moment for Lesotho turned out to be disastrous and hopeless moment when Mehalalitoe went down in a humiliating 6-0 against the rampant South African side in Bloemfontein, setting the score line at 7-0 on aggregate. That indicates that Mehalalitoe were so pathetic that they could not even put a single goal behind Banyana’s goalkeeper in both encounters. Mokhathi says it will always be a laborious task for Mehalalitoe to overcome their South African counterparts because there is no base for women football in Lesotho, thus making it difficult to replace some of the players in the team.

This however doesn’t mean Likuena never beat Zimbabwe before. Before this year’s Cosafa Cup, Lesotho beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in an international FIFA friendly match at Setsoto Stadium. Former LCS, Lioli and Bantu coach Katiso Mojakhomo, however contends that the Warriors’ dominance over Likuena is a matter of football standards. “What I think is the case when we play Zimbabwe is that they are well above us when it comes football standards,” Mojakhomo says. Apart from that, Majakhomo says Likuena put up a far better performance in comparison to their previous showing in the tournament. “Maliehe and his team have improved a lot and were much better than many teams they competed against. “There’s a difference (when it comes to playing standard) when you compare the current Likuena team to the previous squads,” he says. Former Likuena head coach, Monaheng Monyane, was greatly impressed with how the team fared in Polokwane. Monyane, however, says Likuena could have booked a place in the final had they tried harder to penetrate Warriors’ defence. “It could go either way, and it’s encouraging to see Likuena playing like that,” Monyane says.

“I am not so disappointed but you could see that we could not penetrate their defence.” Monyane says what also contributed to Likuena’s defeat was their slow build up. “Our build up was slow, and I think that’s where our main challenge really was.” Monyane also says Likuena should practice free kicks. “We were, however, not so confident when we had to take free kicks. So our players need to work hard on that aspect going forward,” Monyane says. Ex-Likuena player, Motlalepula Mofolo, on the other hand says Likuena made more passes in their own half than they did in the Warriors’. He describes that as the team’s biggest flaw against Warriors. Mofolo adds that Moses Maliehe’s team played too wide and that seemed to work against them because when the midfielders joined in the attack they left a vast opening behind them. “Again, Nyepetsi (Motebang Sera) fought for the ball alone up front and was a lot of work for a single man. He lacked enough support to punish the Warriors’ defence,” Mofolo says. Likuena walked away with bronze this year and put up a better showing than when they appeared fourth last year.

Why Mehalalitoe lost big “There is no base in local women football in the country and that affects progress in the game. Lesotho Institutions Sports Association (LISA) introduced women football in schools a few years ago but we don’t seem to take it seriously,” Mokhathi said in an interview with Public Eye on Monday. The former president emphasised the importance of grooming young talent from schools when they are still young, adding it is difficult to follow football instructions at an older age. She added it is unfortunate that most of the players currently in the national team did not get the essential development. “If you look at South Africa, they have a wide pool of players including a lot of youth at their disposal but the situation is different with our team, the best way for us is to take the school sports seriously,” Mokhathi added. LISA president Caswel Moru shared similar sentiments saying the base for the national teams should be in schools however, adding that national team administrators only focus on the Lesotho

women super league when selecting the team. “The problem is that players selected are from the women league alone and no focus is placed on schools. The difference is that most of the players were not developed at all, they just play to win in their respective teams and that is all they know. Unfortunately national teams are more tactical in their own nature, you need players who understand all the different aspect of the game and we do not have such players in the country,” Moru said in an interview with Public Eye. He further made some hard hitting but factual comments that the country still has a long way to go for the local sports industry to reach a competitive level. “That problem is not evident in women football alone but in all sports in general. This is because we tend to overlook the most important stage which is development though we want to win at the highest level. We need to go back to the drawing board and focus on developing these players and then wait for results in the next five year,” he said.


Public Eye

Friday June 15, 2018 23

Sport News RAY MUNGOSHI

M

AS E RU – L i k u e n a tumbled out of the regional Cosafa tournamen t in farcical fashion after losing to eventual winners Zimbabwe at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane last week. The unfancied Likuena held their own against their more illustrious opponents matching them stride-for-stride until they choked in the penalty shootout. Likuena, who had not been expected to go as far as they did given that the crème de la crème of southern African football on show surprised all comers when they bulldozed their way into the semis. Zimbabwe, featuring some of their best players including the mercurial Khama Billiat, that lavishly gifted Mamelodi Sundowns talisman, huffed and puffed against the journeymen from the Mountain Kingdom. The minnows from Lesotho showed the world they are no respecters of reputation as they shackled Billiat, reducing him to a virtual bystander. L i k u e n a ra n t h e s h ow, dominating possession and were unlucky not to win the match in regulation time. The Warriors of Zimbabwe hung on for dear life like a tired boxer hedged into a corner by the staccato blows of his smaller but quicker opponent. Likuena were that dominant. This is hardly surprising as they have over the past few years punched above their weight in this regional tourney gazumping powerhouses South Africa in the rankings. In the past two editions of the Cosafa tournament, Likuena have been seeded higher than Bafana Bafana, earning themselves a straight berth in the quarterfinals. Before we get carried away though, it is pertinent to issue a caveat here. Bafana Bafana consider the Cosafa cup a developmental tournament and tend to pack their squad with youngsters. Zambia and Zimbabwe have also previously used the tourney to blood newbies as well but broke with tradition this year. Wa r r i o rs ga f fe r S u n d ay “Mhofu” Chidzambwa’s side was a rich blend of youth and experience: Local and foreignbased players. And it was one of their exports, Sweden-based, Tino Kadewere who helped defending champions Zimbabwe retain the cup after he grabbed a brace to help his country win the match in extra-time 4-2 over Chipolopolo on Saturday. This saw Zimbabwe extend their record of tournament wins to six, making them the third nation to claim back-to-back titles after Zambia and South Africa. It is a fourth tournament win for Chidzambwa, extending his record as the most successful coach in Cosafa Cup history.

Thaba-Ntso’s costly schoolboy error

How a player of Jane Thaba-Ntso’s calibre can commit a schoolboy error like he did in the penalty shootout boggles the mind.

Ideally Likuena should also be using the Cosafa jamboree to introduce upstarts to international football but the cup represents perhaps the team’s most realistic chance of winning something. Coach Moses Maliehe, to his credit, took along some young stars including 20-year-old defender, Lesia Thetsane, who is on a football scholarship in the United States. Maliehe described Thetsane as “definitely a player for the future”. With a semi-professional league bereft of the riches of the South African Premier League and a small pool of players to choose from, Likuena are the proverbial poor cousins of regional football, along with Botswana, Eswatini, Madagscar and Mauritius. Besides Lioli, Bantu and the security forces sponsored

LDF and LMPS, the Lesotho league is littered with a motley of straggling sides that live from hand to mouth. Even fallen giants Matlama FC – who dominated local soccer for decades – cannot afford to pay their players a wage enough to lift them out of penury so they can focus solely on their football. This poverty of resources and talent is unfortunately exported to the national team which treads water in the lower reaches of African football. A l o n g w i t h B o t s wa n a , E swa t i n i , M a d a g s c a r a n d Mauritius, Likuena are still trying to qualify for their first African Nations Cup (AFCON). This why it was important for the team to win the justended tournament after expertly accounting for Swaziland in the playoffs and giving Zimbabwe a

run for their money. This was their best chance for a long time. But they fluffed their lines, thanks to a poor understanding of the rules. How a player of Jane ThabaNtso’s calibre can commit a schoolboy error like he did in the penalty shootout boggles the mind. Thaba-Ntso still holds the record for scoring the fastest Cosafa cop goal after 43 seconds during the Likuena’s 3-0 win over Mauritius in 2016. Needing to convert his kick with the game precariously balanced at 3 – 1 in favour of Zimbabwe, Thaba-Ntso made too much of a stuttering movement in his run-up, resulting in his kick being disqualified by referee Ahmad Heeralall from Mauritius. Heeralall’s decision follows

a 2017 review of rules regarding penalties. I n t e r n a t i o n a l Fo o t b a l l Associations Board technical director David Elleray clarified the new rules in an interview with The Herald of Zimbabwe when it raised issue with a similar incident that occurred at a Zimbabwe and Namibia CHAN match in Harare last year. “In this respect in the Laws of the Game 2017/18, Law 14 states that it is an offence if the kicker ‘feints to kick the ball once the kicker has completed the run-up (feinting during the run up is permitted) . . . This Law is applicable in Kicks From the Penalty Mark (KFPM) (Law 10). “The guidance is that once the kicker has arrived at the ball the run-up is completed and if the kicker then feints to kick then this is an offence punishable by a caution (YC — Yellow Card) and an Indirect Free kick (for a penalty in normal time) and the kick being declared ‘missed’ in Kicks from the Penalty Mark. “This is regardless of the outcome of the kick (until the changes for 2016 /17) if the penalty was ‘illegally’ scored then it was retaken, but the philosophy now is that the player knows he/she cannot feint at the end of the run so if he/she does so they forfeit the kick and get a YC (Yellow Card).” Thaba-Ntso should have known this. The technical team should have known about this new rule. They should have refreshed the players’ memories before the spot kicks. They didn’t. Water under the bridge now. But if it’s any consolation, Likuena brought home the bronze medal after beating Madagascar 1 – 0 on Friday evening. As Maliehe declared after the tourney Likuena should take lot of positives forward as they prepare for the 2019 Afcon qualifiers. “I think we gave it a brave fight though our goal was to reach the final,” Maliehe was quoted saying by the Cosafa online news site. “ We d i d n o t c o n c e d e even a single goal in the three matches that we played from the quarterfinals and were unlucky to lose to Zimbabwe on penalties in the semi-finals. “We have shown a lot of growth as a team and I’m very happy as the coach of the team. “The fact that we also won Man of Match awards in all the games that we played at the tournament is also an indication that we are on the right track.” “We will take all the positives to our continental qualifiers with the big match coming up against Cape Verde in September. “Overall, I’m very happy with the team and to have beaten Madagascar in our last match to clinch bronze medal.” “It has been a very successful tournament for the team and I’m proud that we go back not having conceded a goal in all the three games we played.” It would also help though if his players were appraised of changes in rules to avoid a repeat of the New Peter Mokaba faux pas.

Sports  

PUBLIC EYE SPORTS PAGES

Sports  

PUBLIC EYE SPORTS PAGES

Advertisement