Lesotho first participated in a FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign at a time when many countries where not yet FIFA members. That was in 1974, when the Likuena (Crocodiles) were drawn against Zambia in the first round. A goalless draw at home and a 6-1 away defeat ended any hopes of a lengthy regional campaign.
Eight years later, Guinea ended Lesotho's FIFA World Cup dream and again there was a draw at home and a defeat on the road. The next time the country played any part in a qualifying campaign was for Korea/Japan 2002, when two defeats against South Africa meant the end of the road for Lesotho.
But when they were drawn against Botswana in the African preliminary qualifying rounds for Germany 2006, football supporters in the country were hoping that the run of early exits had come to an end.
But as so often happens in football, not everything went
according to plan and a 4-1 defeat in Gaborone gave Lesotho a
virtually impossible task for the return leg. And unfortunately for
local fans, the miracle in Maseru did not happen, as a goalless
draw not only sent Botswana through 4-1 on aggregate, it also meant
another first-round exit for the
Lesotho now compete again in the South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign, but for the first time in a group competition where they will come up against Gabon, Ghana and Libya.