Seychelles closer to AFCON 2017 qualification after Lesotho win
The Seychelles national football team (in white) celebrating after Gervais Waye-Hive has scored the first goal of the match. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles' national football team has taken a step closer to qualifying for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2017 in Gabon after defeating Lesotho 2-0 on Saturday.
After Saturday's results in group J, Seychelles has 4 points, the same as Ethiopia, which sits in second place with a better goal difference.Lesotho is at the bottom without any points and Algeria leads the group with 9 points.
Winners of the 13 groups and two best overall runners-up will qualify together with Gabon the host country making it 16 teams in the final stage of the tournament.
The home side took control of the match in the first half with a goal from Gervais Waye-Hive. Seychelles went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
“As you know this is a pool match and every point counts, Seychelles did well to score the first goal. When you score first at home you do not have to take risks in the second half,” Seychelles' football analyst Ulric Mathiot told SNA during the half-time break.
Mathiot added that the national side was controlling possessions and had strong organisation.
“Although the visitors are trying a fast attack, Seychelles is maintaining their defence line position and making it difficult for Lesotho to get through. The visitors’ only option is too play long ball on both sides but with a solid defence it’s not easy for them to score.”
|Action of the match between Seychelles and Lesotho on Saturday. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Coming into the second half, the Seychelles team kept their calm even in the face of countless attacks from Lesotho trying to even the score. The visitors paid for the risks taken when Dean Suzette gave Seychelles a second goal to make it 2-0.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has participated in AFCON since 1990 but has not yet reached the final stage.
Seychelles’ coach Ralph Jean-louis was very happy with his team’s result and performance.
“I congratulate our team for their collective effort. They have been combative in the match and we have seen the positive result. The team wanted a win and so did our local fans,” said Jean-louis.
Seychelles will face Lesotho on their home ground on Tuesday March 29 at 3 pm. The national team will leave Seychelles on Sunday.
“If we win the other match all eyes will be on us as to whether we can qualify or not. We want to push ourselves to see how far we can go in this competition. If we qualify that will be a big achievement for us."