Likuena face Zebras

Likuena face Zebras

MASERU – Lesotho’s national team, Likuena, has travelled to Gaborone to play friendly games against Botswana on Friday and Sunday.
The matches are to test Likuena’s players and gauge their readiness for the upcoming 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) first round qualifier against South Africa.
The first leg of that tie will be played at Setsoto Stadium on July 28 with the venue for the second leg on August 2 in South Africa yet to be announced.

Interim Lesotho coach Leslie Notši will take a 19-man squad to Gaborone and he said the players called up for the trip have been selected based on their performances.
Notši was appointed Likuena caretaker coach last week after head coach Moses Maliehe was given a leave of absence because of a long-standing illness.
Notši has made changes to the squad that was already in training for the CHAN tie against South Africa before he took charge.

With the South Africa CHAN tie just two weeks away, the Likuena mentor is expected to keep the same team for the Bafana Bafana game unless some players fail to impress or injuries may force him to make changes.
“We are going to play two games in Gaborone, one on Friday and another one on Sunday,” Notši said.
“In these two games we are looking to give each and every one of these players a chance to play so that we can see if what we have been talking about in terms of how we are going to play is correct and if they will give us what we need,” he continued.
“When we come back from Botswana we will assess the performance of players and if we find some didn’t satisfy us we will take players from the ones that we have left behind. We are trying new faces. There are players that have been consistent in the (Econet) Premier League so we thought we should give them a chance because CHAN gives opportunity to local players to show their talent.”

The 19-man squad includes Lioli midfielder Tšoanelo Koetle who has been named as a defender as he was for last month’s COSAFA Cup in Durban, South Africa.
Notši said Koetle is a versatile player and although he is looking to play him at rightback, Koetle can always fill other positions in the team.
“Koetle played very well in Durban, he is very smart and football needs a smart person,” Notši said.
“He is able to read the game very well; he has good anticipation and is very versatile. For the position we are looking him to play — rightback — we believe he is a candidate, at the same time we are looking at utility players. If there is a problem you can move him to another position,” he added.
Notši said he selected the squad with one eye on the future.

“We did not select the players to send a message, we took players due to their performances and their strengths, and some are utility players,” he said.
“The majority of players I found them in the team already. We took experienced players and young players because want to win,” Notši added.
“We want the team to qualify (for CHAN), at the same time we want to build this team because in the next two years some players will be retiring.”

Likuena squad:
Thabiso Lichaba, Monaheng Ramalefane
Tšoanelo Koetle, John Mohai, Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, Basia Makeproe, Nkau Lerotholi, Rethabile Rasethuntša, Rethabile Mokokoane
Lisema Lebokollane, Tšepo Toloane, Lehlohonolo Fothoane, Makara Ntaitsane, Hlompho Kalake, Neo Mokhachane, Jane Thaba-Ntšo, Rethabile Selonyane
Mokone Marabe, Tšepo Seturumane

Tlalane Phahla


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