Likuena prepare for Cranes

Likuena prepare for Cranes

MASERU -Lesotho’s national team, Likuena, is preparing to leave the country for this year’s COSAFA Cup which will be held in Durban, South Africa.
The regional showpiece begins on Saturday with the group stage.
Likuena will start their campaign next Saturday in the quarter-finals against Uganda.
After the disappointment in March of failing to qualify for this year’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Likuena will be looking to redeem themselves with a good performance at the regional showpiece.

Likuena have performed well at the COSAFA Cup in recent years reaching the semi-finals of the last two editions and this year might be Lesotho’s best chance to win the championship for the first time because of the AFCON.
Zimbabwe, the winners of last year’s edition, have qualified for the AFCON and are likely to take their second string squad to Durban. Hosts South Africa never use their first choice squad.
Lesotho’s quarterfinal opponents Uganda will also be more focused on their AFCON campaign in July.
So, with this in mind, Likuena have an opportunity to go further than the semi-finals with many rival teams set take less experienced teams to the tournament.
Likuena head coach, Moses Maliehe, has called up a 23-man squad that includes four South African based players – the Black Leopards trio of Tumelo Khutlang, Luciano Matsoso and Tšoanelo Bereng, and Real Kings striker Masoabi Nkoto.

Lioli’s calamitous season sees them have only two representatives in the squad in Kopano Tseka and Tšoanelo Koetle. Bantu dominate the squad with five players – goalkeeper Thabiso Lichaba, defenders Bokang Sello and Mkhwanazi Motlomelo, and midfielders Hlompho Kalake and Lehlohonolo Fothoane.
The team is expected to leave Lesotho sometime next week.

Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) has roped in Bantu coach James Madidilane as a second assistant to Maliehe alongside Mpitsa Marai.
Madidilane’s success with Bantu, where he has won two league titles since his arrival in 2016, has seen him increasingly linked with the Likuena job.
After the COSAFA Cup, Likuena will start preparations for the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers where Lesotho will face South Africa in the first round.
The first leg will be played in July and the second leg will take place in early August.

Lesotho 2019 COSAFA Cup squad:
Goalkeepers:

Samuel Ketsekile (LCS), Thabiso Lichaba (Bantu), Monaheng Ramalefane (Matlama)

Defenders:

Mkhwanazi Motlomelo, Bokang Sello (both Bantu), Basia Makepe, Nkau Lerotholi (both LMPS), Lesia Thetsane (USA based), John Mohai (Matlama), Kopano Tseka (Lioli)

Midfielders:

Sepiriti Malefane (LCS), Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli), Letlatsa Moshoeshoe, Tšepo Toloane (both LDF)
Luciano Matsoso, Tšoanelo Bereng, Tumelo Khutlang (all Black Leopards, RSA)
Hlompho Kalake, Lehlohonolo Fothoane (both Bantu), Jane Thaba-Ntšo (Matlama)

Strikers:

Motebang Sera (Matlama), Nkoto Masoabi (Real Kings, RSA), Thapelo Tale (LCS)

Tlalane Phahla

 

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