AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Seychelles Stutter Against Lesotho
Seychelles and Lesotho played to a goalless draw at Côte d’Or Stadium in Mauritius on Wednesday afternoon, in their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary round first-leg clash.
Both sides started the match tentatively as Lesotho’s backline were able to keep Seychelles’ attack around experienced attacker Josip Ravginia at bay.
For Lesotho’s attack, Rethabile Mokokoane and Kathelo Makateng looked like the most likely to break Seychelles’ defensive 5-3-2 system.
Makateng had a penalty appeal denied in the 8th minute, while three minutes later, Mokokoane broke through inside Seychelles’ penalty area only for Seychelles goalkeeper Alvin Michel to save.
In the 18th minute, Makateng made a 50-yard run, ending with his shot fizzing just wide of Michel’s left-hand post.
The visitors had a chance to go ahead in the 23rd minute as Lisema Lebokollane won a penalty only for Fothoane to send his kick straight to the hands of Seychelles goalkeeper.
Seychelles’ best chance from the first half came from a corner in the 26th minute when Kenner Ricky headed effort forced Sekhoane Merane to make an impressive save from six yards out.
The remainder of the first half belonged to Seychelles but the Islanders weren’t able to make their domination count.
After a goalless first half, both coaches brought on a host of players, Sera was amongst those being replaced after picking up what is suspected to be a minor knee injury.
Seychelles was able to carry their momentum from the first half into the second as Hubert Jean had a six-yard shot from a cross saved by Merane.
Lesotho responded with their best chance of the evenly-contested match when Kopona Tseka right-footed shot was saved by Michel from close range in the 56th minute.
Lesotho keeper Moerane showcased the side’s depth in the position when he saved Malane’s 20-yard shot a minute later.
Moerane then came up with a brave double save in the 69th minute, highlighted by an impressive punching clearance after challenging Colyn Francourt in the air.
Lesotho had the last significant chance of the match in the 73rd minute when substitute Tumel Khutlang failed to react in time to a driven cross from the left flank, resulting in a Seychelles goal kick.
Both sides pushed on for the winner in the latter stages, but the final ball from both sides were lacking.