Lesotho 3-3 Botswana: Six goal thriller in Kitwe ends in a draw

Lesotho snatched a late equalizer to secure a dramatic 3-3 draw in a Cosafa Cup group B match

Lesotho secured an unlkely draw against Botswana in a Cosafa Cup Group B clash at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

Botswana took an early lead via Jerome Ramatlhakwana, who buried a Lemponye Tshireletso cross with a fine volley in the fifth minute of the match.  

Ramatlhakwana netted his brace with a simple tap-in after Mokhehle failed to deal effectively with a long range shot.

Lesotho, seemingly out of the contest, fought back through a penalty goal from Ralekoti and a close range header from towering defender Lerotholi, which seemed to secure an unlikely draw.

However, Ramatlhakwana would not be denied his hat-trick and scored in the 79th minute to put his side into the lead once more.

With victory merely seconds away, Lesotho pounced to equalise on the strike of full-time as Thapelo struck a dagger in Botswana's heart with a late goal after a scramble in the area.

Botswana clicked into gear early on, seeking to be more clinical after their struggle to score against Swaziland during their opening game, which ended goalless after 90 minutes.

Botswana early dominance paid off as Ramatlhakwana gave the Zebras the perfect start, with a well-timed right-footed volley in the fifth minute, which flew uncontested into the top left corner of the net.  

Lesotho slowly found a way back into the game, with Lehlomela Ramabele sending a shot flashing across the face of goal in the 16th minute after some promising build-up play.  

Their persistence almost paid off minutes later as Bushe Moletsane tried to beat Maposa from range, stinging the keeper’s palms with a solid strike.

Botswana were able to weather the storm, led by Lesotho’s Tophelo Tale, who forced Maposa into another fine save when trying to chip the keeper with a deft shot.

Ramatlhakwana almost doubled the Zebra’s score in the 27th minute, when Tshireletso broke free down the left and found the striker with a powerful low cross. Ramatlhakwana was able to connect with the cross, but his effort flew wide over the crossbar.

The first half ended with Botswana still holding onto their slim lead, with Lesotho looking confident enough to find an equaliser.

Lesotho was punished in the early minutes of the second half, as Ramatlhakwana netted his second goal of the match. Mokhehle failed to deal with a powerful strike and parried the ball into the striker’s path and Ramatlhakwana did not disappoint with a simple tap-in from close range.   

In the 58th minute, Tsapelo was felled in the box, with the referee awarding the trailing side with a spot-kick. Ralekoti made no mistake with the penalty, sending Maposa the wrong way with a well-placed shot into the top left corner. Lesotho was back in the game with thirty minutes left.

Thapelo almost created the equaliser in the 68th minute, after receiving the ball at the near post, and with a quick turn, struck a curling effort which Maposa had to turn around the post. The resulting corner turned into gold for Lesotho, as Lerotholi bundled the ball over the net from close range, putting his side on equal terms.

Lesotho did not maintain their momentum and succumbed once more as Ramatlhakwana profited from another poor save from Mokhehle which landed in his path once more. The striker powered a shot into the back of the net in the 79th minute.

Lesotho did not stop fighting as Thapelo deservingly found the back of the net in the 93rd minute, after he retained the ball during a scramble in the box, and snatched a late equaliser with a well-placed shot.