Likuena to take on Pirates

Likuena to take on Pirates

MASERU-The national football team, Likuena, is set to play South African giants Orlando Pirates next Thursday in a friendly match.
The match is part of Likuena’s preparations for the back-to-back 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Nigeria later this month.

Likuena are still hoping to secure qualification for the continental showpiece to be hosted in Cameroon in June but their pathway is difficult and highly dependent on how other teams in their group, Group L, perform in their remaining games.

Likuena are bottom of the four-team group with the top two nations set to qualify. Lesotho hosts Sierra Leone on March 27 before an away match against Nigeria three days later.
Yesterday, Likuena played South African GladAfrica division side Free State Stars, although the result of that match was not known at the time of going to print.

At the moment those are the only two confirmed preparation matches for Likuena but Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) is hoping to secure one more game in Johannesburg next week if it can find an opponent.
Lesotho has never qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations but came close in 2019 when Likuena fell at the last hurdle with a goalless draw in Cape Verde when they needed to win.

A few weeks ago, Likuena head coach Thabo Senong refused to throw in the towel on AFCON qualification saying there is still a chance for anyone in the group to qualify but acknowledged it will not be easy for his troops.
To have any chance, Likuena will have to beat Sierra Leone at home and also beat the Group L leaders Nigeria away from home which may be a mountain to climb for Senong.

At the moment, the team is still training without its foreign-based players but they are expected to join when the FIFA international break kicks in on March 22.

Tlalane Phahla

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