JOHANNESBURG – South Africa crashed out of the African Nations Championship (Chan) after a 3-0 defeat to Lesotho in a second-leg qualifying match played at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Sunday afternoon.
Lesotho emerged victorious 6-2 on aggregate after winning the first leg 3-2 in Maseru last week.
South Africa’s national Under-23 coach, David Notoane, is in charge of the Chan squad. He is using mostly Under-23 players because the plan is to use the Chan games as preparation for the African Nations Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe later this year.
But, after losing the first-leg in Maseru last week, Notoane was of the opinion that he needed some experience to guide the youngsters.
With this in mind, he called up veteran 37-year-old midfielder Reneilwe “Yeye” Letsholonyane to add some solidity and provide a cool head on the field.
FT:— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) August 4, 2019
South Africa 0-3 Lesotho
(Lesotho wins 6-2 on aggregate)#CHAN2020
Letsholonyane is currently not attached to a club, which means he wasn’t involved in the opening weekend of games for the 2019-2020 Premier Soccer League season.
But not even the presence of the seasoned campaigner in the team could prevent Notoane’s men from succumbing to a rather ignominious home defeat.
The South Africans, desperate to overturn the first-leg result, got into the action quickly, putting the visitors under early pressure, but the Lesotho defence held firm.
Kgodiso Monama had a glorious opportunity for South Africa midway through the first half, but his effort on goal was saved by Lesotho goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane.
South Africa tried their utmost in the opening 45 minutes, but Lesotho were just too difficult to break down.
The visitors, determined to hold on to their first-leg advantage, kept things tight and compact, and never allowed the South Africans any space within which to create openings.
Four minutes into the second half, Lesotho’s commitment paid dividends when they took the lead with a goal from Jane Ntso.
And, before South Africa could even think about a response, it was 2-0 to Lesotho, with Ntso again the goalscorer.
The second goal killed the South Africans' spirit and resolve, and it was no surprise when they conceded a third goal, when Hlompho Kalake scored for Lesotho.
On the day, though, South Africa simply didn’t have enough, and Lesotho were able to celebrate a famous victory over their neighbours.
For South Africa, irrespective of the overall inexperience of the team, it was nevertheless a rather embarrassing result.
African News Agency (ANA)