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Lesotho To Host Benin In WC Qualifier In Durban

Lesotho have decided to take their second 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying group stage match against Benin to the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday, iDiski Times has learnt.

This is because Lesotho were one of many African nations barred by CAF to play home matches in their country because they don’t have facilities that meet the standard required by Africa’s football mother body.

This means Benin will remain in the coastal city of Durban in this FIFA break, as they will visit Bafana Bafana in the same group at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday (15:00).

Lesotho, who have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup before, started the World Cup qualifiers with a stunning 1-1 draw against top-ranked side Nigeria at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Thursday.

Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, who was previously at Marumo Gallants, scored when Lesotho took a shock lead in the 56th minute, with former Black Leopards and Chippa United midfielder Tshwarelo Beereng setting him up.

But Nigeria, who had Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Bonifice, Taiwo Awoniyi and Alex Iwobi in the starting line-up, found an equalizer through West Bromwich Albion defender Adesewo Ajayi 11 minutes later.  

Lesotho, though, were able to hang on to go top of the group with one point, which has left the Super Eagles fans miffed by this result.  

Lesotho have not won the World Cup qualifying match in the CAF zone in the last five matches, which have all ended in draws.

The last time they won was when they beat Sudan in 2013 for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, when the tournament was held in Brazil.

Coach Notsi discussed the topic of playing matches outside his borders during the COSAFA Cup in Durban in July after the World Cup qualifiers draw was conducted, and insisted that playing home away from home has made his side stronger.   

“I really don’t know much about that since it’s more of the logistics issues are done by the association and the government,” said Notsi when asked about home venue to play these matches.

“But, somehow, having played our home matches outside Lesotho, it has also made us a better team.

“The facilities are there. We have the training centre in Maseru, we have three training centres which are for Lesotho Football Association.

“So, in terms of preparations, we never really have a problem. It’s just that now when we have to play matches, either we play away or we go play in South Africa.”

Rwanda and Zimbabwe, who played to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, complete Group C with Bafana lying at the bottom as they are yet to play.  

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.