Matete welcomes draw
NATIONAL team interim coach, Seephephe Matete, is confident Likuena will be ready for the african Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Botswana whose first leg is set for the weekend of 1921 June 2015.
Lesotho were drawn against the Zebras of Botswana on Sunday and Matete told the Lesotho Times this week his players would be ready for their regional counterparts.
Likuena have twice lost to Botswana in friendly matches since Matete took over the coaching reins last year, but the veteran coach believes the outcome would be different when the two foes meet in a competitive match. The CHAN only features locally-based players and its finals would be held in Rwanda next year. Since its introduction four years ago, Lesotho has never taken part in the tournament.
“It true that they have been superior in the friendly matches we have played during my time, and even before I came in, which means we will have to up our game if we are to beat them,” Matete said.
“The good thing is that we know what Botswana can offer, which makes it easier for us in our preparations.
“On the other hand, they also know how we play and always tell us that we play good passing football, which is why they get physical when they play us.
“So knowing that this is how they think, we should plan accordingly and have a good game-plan. If we get it right, which I am confident we will, we are going to advance to the next stage of the tournament at their expense.”
Matete also said it would be easy for him to prepare the team for the tournament because of its schedule.
“We will be off-season, so all the players would be available for training,” he said.
Meanwhile, Matete also said star midfielder, Tšoanelo Koetle and veteran playmaker, Bushy Moletsane , were back in the national team after finally agreeing to sign an agreement that regulates their conduct while with Likuena.
The duo, alongside goalkeeper, Mohau Kuenane, were left out of the team that travelled to Botswana for a friendly match almost a fort-
night ago, which lost 2-0.
GROUPS West A: Guinea Mali; Mauritania ra Leone; Guinea Senegal v Gambia. West B: Ghana v Côte d’ivoire; Nigeria v Burkina Faso; Tiger v Togo. Central Zone: DRC v Central africa Republic; Cameroun v Congo Chad v Gabon. East-central: Tanzania v Uganda; Djibouti v Burundi; Ethiopia v Kenya. Southern: Zimbabwe v Comoros; Lesotho v Botswana; Namibia v Zambia; Mozambique v Seychelles; SA v Mauritius; Swaziland v Angola.
Bissau v v Sierv Liberia Team Lesotho is hoping to fly the country’s flag high at the African Cycling Championship to be held in Rwanda from 5-10 May.
according to Lesotho Cycling association (LCA) public relations officer, Lethusang Ntili, the continental competition would be highly competitive, but he still believed in the cyclists’ capabilities to bring home some silverware.
“We have a very good squad we selected after two competitions we held last month,” Ntili said. “The team is made up of Mapanya ‘Meke and Katleho Manasi, who will be competing in the junior category, while Tumelo Makae and Malefetsane Lesofe will be contesting the under-23 division.
“Phetetso Monese and Teboho Khantši will compete in the elite category, while Likeleli Masitise and another female rider yet to be selected, would also be at the championship.”
The veteran rider further said the team would capitalize on its “strength”.
“We stand a very good chance of winning in Rwanda, especially in the relay as that is where our strength lies. We know other countries focus more on cross-country, so we have been told that most points will be scored in the relay, which is good news for us,” said Ntili.
“Our cyclists made very good times in last weekend’s races; they did far much better than they did last year, which is very promising as we head to Rwanda.”
Ntili further said the only worry for the association was lack of female riders.
“We still have female cyclists but their main problem is that they don’t like to compete in these races, which they complain are too long, hence the few numbers that we have. As for the other riders in our team, they have been involved in different international competitions so they know what to expect when they go to Rwanda. And again yesterday, Monese, Tumelo, Khantsi, Lesofe and Likeleli were taking part in a tournament in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, which is good preparations for them,” he said.
Motlokoa Nkhabutlane triumphantly crosses the 2015 Two Oceans Marathon finishing line.