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Maliehe rallies troops



‘We’ll go out for victory against Tanzania’…………

MASERU – Lesotho national coach, Moses Maliehe, says his charges are going “all out for a win” against Tanzania in the sides’ crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier on Sunday at Setsoto Stadium.

If Likuena are to have any chance of qualifying for next June’s continental showpiece they have to beat Tanzania in what will be the sides’ second meeting in Group L.
The teams first met last June in Tanzania and the game ended 1-1 with Thapelo Tale scoring Likuena’s goal.

After losing twice to Uganda last month, Lesotho – after a promising start – now faces an uphill battle to make history and qualify for its first-ever AFCON.
Likuena are bottom of Group L – behind leaders Uganda, Tanzania and Cape Verde – and their fate rests on the results of the other teams in the pool.
Lesotho has two points with two games to play, and only the top two will qualify for Cameroon 2019.

Maliehe, however, insisted his team have to ‘fight for the country’ adding that Likuena plan to attack Tanzania from the first whistle on Sunday.
“We are ready, it is the same situation (as for the game) against Uganda, and we plan to attack from the beginning of the game,” Maliehe said.
“We have prepared enough to play Tanzania; we have to win the game and we cannot talk about winning the game if we are not attacking. We don’t have any other plan for the game besides attacking,” he added.

Likuena will have to achieve their goal without striker Nkoto Masoabi who is unavailable because of an injury.
Masoabi struck his first goal for his new side Real Kings in a 2-2 draw with Ajax Cape Town two weekends ago in South Africa’s National First Division and was in line to start on Sunday.
Maliehe, however, insisted his side would manage without Masoabi and pointed to Lesotho Correctional Services striker Thapelo Tale as a possible solution.

“We don’t have Nkoto; he is not in form right now. He scored against Ajax (and) it’s unfortunate he is not available (but) we have Thapelo Tale, he is a speedy player,” Maliehe said.
Maliehe said morale is high in the Likuena camp for Sunday’s game which will kick off at 4pm and whose tickets are already on sale for M30.

He said he called up the best possible squad for the task ahead and added that his technical brains trust they have enough information on Tanzania to get a result.
The East African nation is on a high after beating Cape Verde in their last Group L outing and the Taifa Stars are second in the pool with five points from four games.
A win for Likuena, though, would bring them level with Tanzania and Maliehe said he has full confidence in his team.

He continued that his charges should be motivated regardless of any monetary rewards.
“The morale is high in camp,” Maliehe said.
“We have made the best selection. Money or no money, as a person you are representing your own country,” he stressed.

“These (Likuena) players have to start representing the country and not come for money. Everybody needs money, even I do, but what about the country’s image if we keep losing and losing to countries we are equal with?” Maliehe added: “We have the best players in the squad, that’s why I mentioned money to say we are not here for money, we are here to represent the country. Football is about motivation and motivation is money. But what if it’s not there? What about yourself? What about representing the country at the highest level in Africa?”
“We have (Tanzania’s) tapes and DVDs,” Maliehe underlined.

“We have people that went to Bloemfontein to watch them playing a friendly with (Bloemfontein) Celtics (this week). The players they are using in that friendly are the players that are going to play here. We have enough information.”

Likuena squad:

Tankiso Chaba (Liphakoe), Samuel Ketsekile (LCS), Monaheng Ramalefane (Matlama)

Basia Makepe, Nkau Lerotholi (both LMPS), Kopano Tseka, Mafa Moremoholo (both Lioli), Bokang Sello (Bantu)

Hlompho Kalake (Bantu), Jane Thaba-Ntšo, Mabuti Potloane (Matlama), Setho Moshoeshoe, Sepiriti Malefane (both LCS), Tumelo Khutlang, Tšoarelo Bereng (both Black Leopards), Tšepo Toloane (LDF), Jane Tšotleho

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

Nkheli Liphoto

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Rabale eyes Champions League glory



Lesotho women’s team captain Boitumelo Rabale has her eyes on winning her second CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns as the tournament gets underway this weekend.
The third edition of the prestigious women’s club football is scheduled for Ivory Coast from November 5-19, where eight clubs will battle it out to be crowned Queens of the continent.

“Queen”, as the Lesotho star is commonly known, was part of the Sundowns squad that was crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the tournament held in Egypt two years ago, becoming the first player from the Mountain Kingdom to taste Champions League success.
She has become one of the key players in Jerry Tshabalala’s squad having walked away with the Hollywoodbets Player of the Season in the previous campaign and currently leads the goal-scoring charts with 21 goals.

“It was exciting to win the CAF Women’s Champions League with Sundowns two years ago and in the process becoming the first player from Lesotho to do so,” Rabale said.

“I felt very lucky and honoured to make history. It gave me confidence to continue working hard and strive for more success with the club”
Sundowns head to the tournament as regional champions after clinching the COSAFA qualifiers to qualify for the continental showpiece, where they will kickstart their campaign against Tanzania’s JKT Queens on Sunday.

Rabale admitted that memories of losing the last final to AS FAR still haunts them, but they head to Ivory Coast a better team than in the last tournament.

“We learnt the hard way when we lost in the final to AS FAR and we come back a better team having rectified our mistakes.

“It’s our dream to conquer the continent again and I have no doubt that we have what it takes to get our second star in Ivory Coast.

“It will be very good to add the second CAF Champions League medal to my trophy cabinet,” she said.

The 27-year-old has been prolific for Sundowns this campaign having scored nine goals in her last five matches to take her tally for this campaign to 21 goals.
Sundowns are in Group A alongside tournament hosts, Athletico Abidjan, Sporting Casablanca of Morocco, as well as Tanzania’s JKT Queen.

Since joining Sundowns in 2021, Rabale has won the Hollywoodbets Super League twice, the COSAFA Zonal qualifiers twice as well as the CAF Women’s Champions League and is the reigning Hollywoodbets Player of the season.

Tlalane Phahla

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Red Skins fail to raise funds for championship



Lesotho volleyball giants Red Skins have failed to raise funds for the 2023 Zone 6 Senior Indoor Volleyball Club Championship they are set to host in December.

Red Skins will host the competition together with four other local volleyball clubs – Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Station (LMPS) and Rivers – and the tournament is expected to start on December 7 and end 10 days later.

Without any funds or sponsors coming in, Red Skins will have to foot the bill from their pockets for the tournament which will see teams from 10 countries converge on Maseru.

Among the participating nations, Botswana is expected to bring the biggest contingent with 12 teams, with Zambia following closely behind with nine teams while Zimbabwe is set to be represented by six teams.

Two weeks ago, Red Skins participated in the Elite Cup in Gauteng, South Africa, which was hosted by Aqua Darshan Volleyball.
Red Skins hoped to win the tournament and return home with a hefty jackpot but they only collected M5 000 which was won by the men’s team.

A gala dinner that Red Skins hosted last weekend also failed to generate income due to low attendance and speaking to thepost on Tuesday, the club’s vice-captain, Moleboheng Mofolo, said they will have to push on with what they have to host the tournament.
Mofolo said they no longer have time to come up with other means to raise funds.

“Tournaments will require us to find sponsorships and we do not have time now, we have to focus and train well,” Mofolo said.

“Our coach already told us to camp from this week but rain is our biggest challenge because we cannot continue with the training,” she added.

Mofolo said Red Skins are fortunate that participating teams are going to take care of their accommodation and catering. She said if Red Skins had to provide those services, they would not have been able to manage.

She pleaded with individuals, organisations and companies to help the team, whether it is by offering accommodation, food, or whatever little they may have.

Tlalane Phahla

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Giants avoid each other in Top 4 clash



Women Super League (WSL) giants Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies and Kick4Life Ladies have avoided each other in the WSL Top 4 knockout competition.
The two-day showpiece takes centre stage this weekend at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena and it will see last season’s top four finishers in the league – LDF, Kick4Life, Lijabatho and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Ladies – go head-to-head for bragging rights.

The draw for the competition took place last Friday and the semi-finals will see LDF go up against Lijabatho while Kick4Life will take on LMPS Ladies.
Both semi-finals will be played on Saturday with the tournament culminating the following day.

Sunday’s proceedings will kick-off with a third-place playoff game to determine who walks away with the bronze medals before the final later in the day.
All four games over the two days will be streamed on the FIFA+ website and the WSL Top 4 will usher in a new sponsor this year.

In the past, the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) fully bankrolled the competition, however, Computer Business Solutions (CBS) has come on board with a sponsorship for the first time.

The competition’s prize monies have not been revealed because they are still being finalised, but, speaking at last Friday’s draw, LEFA’s associations secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said the relationship with CBS is one that sport should engage in.
Mohapi added his hopes that the relationship will be a long-term one.

“While others are busy at their thing, we should really grow ours so that when their distraction finally ends, they find us as united as we can be as the football community,” Mohapi said.
“(We should be) united by the efforts and inputs that emanate from the business community, especially when it is a truly Lesotho business entity because other (foreign entities) are here to take money,” he said.

Addressing CBS as the tournament’s sponsor, Mohapi said: “We are thankful as LEFA for your initiative; (we) hope you will be in this marriage quite long. We know we are just testing the waters but we have a lot that can entice you to stay longer, not only my command but the instruments that we have.”

Mohapi said LEFA’s dream is that in two years’ time all league matches will be streaming on the FIFA+ platform which was launched last April by football’s world governing body to increase exposure of men and women’s football around the globe.

Currently, only three grounds in the country have the structures for broadcasting; Bambatha as well as the grounds at LDF and Lesotho Correctional Service grounds, and all are in Maseru.
LEFA plans to add more grounds to the list with the DIFA facilities in Maputsoe and Mohale’s Hoek set to be the first to follow suit.

“All our women’s competitions, cup competitions and (Vodacom) Premier League matches that will be played in those stadia that have our infrastructure – we will be able to stream those games internationally,” Mohapi said.

“We have extended our footprint,” he added.

“We are now doing LDF – we have already put up the structure – then we are moving to Maputsoe and, hopefully, Mohale’s Hoek. It is our desire that in two years’ time we will hopefully cover all the matches and put them on the FIFA+ streaming platform.”

WSL Top 4 fixtures:
Saturday (Bambatha)
Lijabatho Ladies vs. LDF Ladies
LMPS Ladies vs. Kick4Life Ladies

Tlalane Phahla

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