Time Likuena end Bafana dom­i­nance

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

Likuena face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in two friendly matches sched­uled for to­day and Satur­day at Set­soto Sta­dium.

While th­ese are just sup­posed to be warm-up games, there is a lot of ri­valry be­tween the two neigh­bour­ing coun­tries and I feel a lot will be at stake dur­ing the en­coun­ters.

As a coun­try, we have been look­ing for­ward to that day when our foot­ball team can fi­nally get the bet­ter of Bafana Bafana be­cause they have dom­i­nated us for far too long.

With Shakes Mashaba se­lect­ing a rel­a­tively in­ex­pe­ri­enced squad when it comes to in­ter­na­tional foot­ball, I hope our beloved na­tional foot­ball team, Likuena, could make use of this loop­hole and ex­act the long-awaited re­venge.

The ma­jor­ity of play­ers in our team were part of Les­lie Notši’s side which reached the semi­fi­nals of the last edi­tion of the Coun­cil of South­ern Africa Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tions (Cosafa) tour­na­ment held in Zam­bia two years ago, so they should be miles ahead in terms of ex­pe­ri­ence.

South Africa won their last two matches against Likuena — 2-0 in an in­ter­na­tional friendly at Set­soto and 2-1 at the 2013 Cosafa tour­na­ment for third-place play­off in Zam­bia.

I have watched sev­eral matches be­tween th­ese two coun­tries and un­for­tu­nately, Bafana Bafana have had the up­per hand in most , if not all of them.

Surely Likuena coach, Seep­hephe Matete, would want to set­tle an old score af­ter Bafana ham­mered his charges 5-0 the last time he was in­terim coach in 2007. That Ger­mis­ton Sta­dium thrash­ing was a bit­ter pill to swallow and Matete would surely have it at the back of his mind when the Bafana and Likuena square-up once again this af­ter­noon and on Satur­day.

I would say the only miss­ing link in our team is Vo­da­com Pre­mier League top goalscorer Litšepe Marabe, but apart from him, I think we have a team that is good enough to teach Bafana Bafana a les­son for once and end the dom­i­nance.

Tak­ing a look at our squad, there is a good bal­ance of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence that should be able to han­dle South Africa and also do well at the Cosafa com­pe­ti­tion set for 17-31 May in South Africa.

In goals, Bantu’s Kholuoe Pha­sumane, will no doubt be the first choice in the ab­sence of the in­jured Mohau kue­nane of Li­oli, with Likhopo’s Kananelo Makhooane his deputy.

This is be­cause Pha­sumane has been there for a long pe­riod and of course has al­ways done well be­tween the sticks for the na­tional team.

In de­fence, it’s time for Nkau Lerotholi and Thabo Ma­su­alle to take their game to an­other level and also lead by ex­am­ple in the ab­sence of the re­cently re­tired cap­tain, Moitheri Ntobo.

Both Ma­su­alle and Lerotholi have played at this level for a very long time and a lot will be ex­pected from them in the two matches and go­ing for­ward.

In the wing­back po­si­tions, I be­lieve Matete will also go for the ex­pe­ri­ence of Bantu’s Thapelo Mokhehle and Li­oli’s Tšoanelo Koe­tle.

The Likuena men­tor has made it clear that he will be util­is­ing Likhopo’s Bokang ‘Lefty’ Mothoana in mid­field where he also has the ex­pe­ri­ence of Li­oli’s Bushy Mo­let­sane, as well as emerg­ing an­chor, Mohau Ram­mo­neng of Liphakoe.

Mo­let­sane is now the most ex­pe­ri­enced player in this team along with Mothoana and should both take a lead­ing role in steer­ing the team to new heights.

My only worry about both Mothoana and Mo­let­sane is they strug­gled with in­juries dur­ing the 2014/15 sea­son and only time will tell if their legs are still strong enough to carry them over such a de­mand­ing sched­ule that Likuena face over the next few months.

All in all, I think the cur­rent crop of play­ers owe this coun­try a win over South Africa be­cause we all know our neigh­bours have al­ways un­der­mined our abil­i­ties as a foot­ball coun­try.

Of course, a good per­for­mance for our play­ers against Bafana Bafana is al­ways a bonus as I be­lieve scouts from the South African league will be fol­low­ing the two matches with keen in­ter­est to spot tal­ent.

I there­fore feel our boys should go for the kill as there is a lot to play for against our wealthy neigh­bours.

With that said, I wish to con­clude this col­umn by pass­ing my sin­cere con­do­lences to the fam­ily of the late for­mer Likuena and Bantu mid­field mae­stro, Popo Matšoara, who passed away on Fri­day last week af­ter a short ill­ness.

Popo was a marvel to watch in his play­ing days and even earned the nick­name 16v just like South Africa’s Doc­tor Khu­malo.

While he al­ways sup­ported his home team, Bantu, since hang­ing-up his boots, it was very sad that a player who gave so much en­ter­tain­ment to this coun­try was never given a chance or any foot­ball role to play there­after. Rest in Peace our ‘16v’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.