Massive bonus for Likuena

Massive bonus for Likuena

MASERU – Sunday was a historic day for Lesotho football as Likuena defeated South Africa in 2020 CAF Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying and the resounding win has brought immediate fruits for the national side.

Thanks to the 6-2 aggregate victory, each Likuena player will receive M10 000 while a new kit for the team will be launched in two weeks’ time by the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA).

The developments were revealed by LEFA president advocate Salemane Phafane on Sunday, straight after Likuena’s victorious CHAN tie in Johannesburg.

Phafane did not specify when Likuena’s new kit will arrive but said it would be unveiled as soon as it does.

Phafane was in joyous mood and he thanked Likuena’s players for being patient and using the team’s old jersey in recent games, including last month’s COSAFA Cup showpiece in Durban.

Sunday’s 6-2 aggregate win marked the first time Lesotho knocked out South Africa in competitive action. Last weekend Likuena beat South Africa 3-2 in Maseru in a pulsating game and Leslie Notši’s side performed even better in the return as goals from Jane Thaba-Ntšo, who grabbed a brace, and

Hlompho Kalake secured a 3-0 masterclass.
Phafane said Lesotho’s triumph will send a message and he wasn’t alone in attendance.

Sunday’s game at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto was attended by several government dignitaries including deputy prime minister Monyane Moleleki, minister of sports Dr Mahali Phamotse, Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) commissioner Thabang Mothepu and the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander, lieutenant general Mojalefa Letsoela.

Lesotho’s next task is a two-legged 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia on September 2 and 10.

Lesotho will then face Zimbabwe over two legs at the end of September and mid-October for the right to qualify for the 2020 CHAN finals in Cameroon.
Phafane said there is a possibility that Likuena will be wearing their new kit when they face Zimbabwe.

“If all goes well we are going to launch a new kit for the national team in two weeks; I want to thank you guys, you have been patient without a jersey, and so, after two weeks you will have a new kit. You can be proud of yourselves,” Phafane told Likuena’s players.

“We decided as LEFA’s committee after you scored the third goal (against South Africa) that every player, including the (bus) driver is going to get M10 000,” he added.

“In front of us is Zimbabwe, but before that we have Ethiopia; we are going all the way, we are not looking back now. You have done it, you have done the nation proud, you have done the association proud, and you have done your families proud.”

Likuena went into the two-legged CHAN tie against South Africa without a competitive win over their neighbours.

The countries first met in 1995 and Lesotho’s only victory over Bafana to date had been a 1-0 friendly win in Maseru in March 2001.

“We don’t remember when was the last time we beat South Africa in an official game,” Phafane said.

“When they were researching on the internet they were saying it’s been 24 years, some say 20. It’s been a long time; some of you (players) were not even born. (South Africa) were not respecting us as a nation (and) as a people. But now they will respect us because of the job you did,” Phafane added as he congratulated Notši and his charges.

The LEFA boss also urged the nation to get behind Matlama as they take on Angolan side Petro Atlético de Luanda in the CAF Champions League on Sunday. Matlama host the first leg of the preliminary round tie at Setsoto Stadium before travelling to Angola on August 23 for the return.
Phafane said Matlama are not only representing themselves but the whole country.

Tlalane Phahla

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