Tanzania will have to wait until March next year to know their Africa Cup of Nations qualification fate after their 1-0 loss to Lesotho in their penultimate Group L qualifier at the Sesotho Stadium in Maseru on Sunday afternoon.
After Uganda’s 1-0 win over Cape Verde on Saturday, Tanzania needed to win and seal qualification for Cameroon next year.
In the early stages, both sides looked determined to take the game to each other with promising attacks from both ends.
It was chance after chance for both sides but the poor playing conditions looked a contributory factor for the numerous scoring opportunities squandered early on.
Simon Msuva had a first glance at goal when he raced into a long ball and got in between the defender and goalkeeper, his loop, however, missed the target.
On the other hand, Tumelo Khutlang was guilty of missing probably the halves most glorious opportunity. David Mwantika did not put enough weight on his initial backpass to Aishi Manula and Khutlang raced onto it but saw his effort hit the cross-bar and back into play, but he completely missed the ball on his second attempt just under the goal line.
Tanzania, evidently missing Mbwana Samatta in the attack, continued to create chances but could not capitalise on any as the two sides headed for the interval unseparated.
In the second half, Lesotho rang the changes and continued to dominate possession while the Taifa Stars had the better of the chances.
Nkau Lerotholi would eventually grab the decisive goal when the visitors’ sloppy defending saw them concede and fail to clear a needless corner kick in the 77th minute.
Emmanuel Amuneke introduced Bocco to try and rescue the point but the Crocodile hung on to the lead and would eventually claim the 1-0.
The win sees Lesotho join Tanzania on five points in the group, while Cape Verde are bottom of the group with four points.
All three teams are still in with a chance to join Uganda in qualifying for the Afcon next year.