South African striker Lebo Mothiba grabbed a brace as Racing Strasbourg put paid to Bordeaux’s ambitions of progressing any further in the French League Cup semi-final at the Stade de la Meinau on Wednesday evening.
It has certainly been a watershed year for Mothiba who really come of age and will now face his compatriot Lebohang Phiri who’s Guingamp eliminated Monaco in the final of the Ligue Cup scheduled for the Stade Pierre Mauroy on March 30.
This would be a difficult period for Mothiba who must travel down to South Africa a week prior to the cup final to prepare for another crucial match for his country – the deciding 2019 African Nations Cup qualifier against Libya on Tunisia.
South Africa lie second in Group E with nine points, one behind leaders Nigeria who have already qualified but two points ahead of third positioned Libya who need victory at all cost to overhaul South Africa if they hope to qualify for Egypt 2019.
One hopes that Strasbourg will not come up with silly excuses on the eve of South Africa’s make-or-break tie claiming Mothiba hd received a knock leading up to the Libya match and express a reluctance to release him.
The South African displayed his credentials when Bordeaux took the lead through Senegalese Younousse Sankhare in the 14th minute and silenced the partisan home crowd who must have anticipated the worst.
But four minutes after resumption, Ludovic Ajorque restored parity when he pounced and brought back belief among Strasbourg followers who regained their voices in the terraces.
Then Mothiba put the home side in front six minutes later and grabbed his brace five minutes later to give the home side an unassailable 3-1 lead by the 60th minute.
Jimmy Briand reduced the deficit in the 82nd minute to ensure a tight finish. But the home side held on until the final whistle to book a place in the final on March 30, thanks to Mothiba’s brace