Le­hata wor­ries ath­let­ics author­i­ties

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati Mikia Kalati

Na­tional team in­terim coach, Seep­hephe Matete, is look­ing for­ward to next month’s Africa Cup of Na­tions ( AF­CON) qual­i­fier against al­ge­ria.

le­sotho host the al­ge­ri­ans on 6 Septem­ber as the team con­tin­ues its quest for a place at the 2017 AF­CON tour­na­ment to be hosted by Gabon.

af­ter nar­rowly los­ing 2-1 to Ethiopia in the first match of their Group J qual­i­fier played away in June this year, Matete’s charges need to be at their best to pre­vail over the Desert Foxes, who thrashed the Sey­chelles 4-0 in their open­ing home fix­ture also played in June.

ac­cord­ing to Matete, the team re­ported for full camp on tues­day this week and would be re­leased on Fri­days to join their clubs for league matches. Matete also an­nounced the re­turn of tšepo Se­tu­ru­mane, who missed the Ethiopia tie as he was un­der­go­ing po­lice train­ing at the time.

the tal­ented for­ward, who now plays for LMPS af­ter com­plet­ing a loan move from li­oli last week, an­nounced his re­turn to ac­tion with a goal in the po­lice out­fit’s 2-0 win over Bantu on Sun­day.

Matete on tues­day told the Le­sotho Times: “We have re­called tšepo Se­tu­ru­mane to the na­tional team and will be as­sess­ing his level of fit­ness be­fore this very im­por­tant match against al­ge­ria.

“this is the num­ber one-ranked team in africa, so we will have to be at our best when we face them; our con­cen­tra­tion would have to be fault­less if we are to con­tain al­ge­ria. We will be at home in this first-leg match, so we must play well be­cause the crowd will be be­hind us. i be­lieve a draw will be a very good re­sult against a team of this cal­i­bre.

“We can even sur­prise them if we play re­ally well and frus­trate them. But the most im­por­tant thing is to play ac­cord­ing to our strength and build on the un­lucky loss we suf­fered against Ethiopia in the open­ing game of the qual­i­fiers.”

Matete has mean­while, lamented the ab­sence from the team, of vet­eran midfielder Bushy Mo­let­sane and at­tack­ing midfielder Mabuti Pot­loane. the two key play­ers have not played com­pet­i­tively since get­ting in­jured in the 2-1 loss to Ethiopia on 14 June.

“the two are still out but could be ready for our next matches in oc­to­ber against the Co­moros and Zim­babwe,” Matete.

le­sotho play the Co­moros in a 2018 World le­sotho am­a­teur ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion public re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Se­jana­mane Maphathe, says it is “very wor­ry­ing” that sprinter, Mos­ito le­hata, failed to even qual­ify for the semi­fi­nals of the 200-me­tre race at the on-go­ing World ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in China.

the 26-year-old medal-hope­ful could only man­age sev­enth-place in the qual­i­fy­ing heats on tues­day, which was not good enough to se­cure him a place in the semis.

le­hata did not take part in the star-stud­ded 100-me­tre race and the Le­sotho Times could not Cup pre­lim­i­nary qual­i­fier and Zim­babwe in the last qual­i­fier of the African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship (Chan).

“it’s go­ing to be a tough oc­to­ber for us so we must have a big squad and good prepa­ra­tions for these games.”

Likuena squad

Goal­keep­ers: Mo­hau Kue­nane (li­oli), Kananelo Makhoaoane (Li­oli), Daniel Joussse (LCS).

De­fend­ers: Nkau lerotholi (Mat­lama), thapelo Mokhehle (Bantu), Motiki Mo­hale (lerotholi Poly­tech­nic), Mafa More­mo­holo (Li­oli), Jerry Kamele (Li­oli), Poloko Mo­hale (LCS).

Mid­field­ers: Bokang Mothoana (likhopo), thabiso Mo­hapi (Bantu), hlom­pho Kalake (Bantu), Ke­fuoe Mahula ( Mat­lama), Jane tha­ban­tšo (Mat­lama), tšoanelo Koe­tle (li­oli), tšepo Se­tu­ru­mane (LMPS).

Strik­ers: thapelo tale (likhopo), thabo Seakhoa (LCS), litšepe Marabe (Bantu), Nkoto Ma­soabi (li­oli), thabiso Brown (Kick­4life). im­me­di­ately es­tab­lish why he missed the event which was part of his tour.

“this is not like him be­cause our ex­pec­ta­tions were very high as he went into this com­pe­ti­tion. i sus­pect his re­cent in­juries could have played a part in his fail­ure to make an im­pres­sion in China, but i’m pos­i­tive he will bounce back as age is still on his side,” Maphathe said.

Ma­p­athe said the fact that Le­hata reached the semi­fi­nal of the 2013 edi­tion of the same race had been the rea­son why the as­so­ci­a­tion ex­pected him to at-least make it to that stage of the com­pe­ti­tion this year. the Mau­ri­tius-based ath­lete reached the fi­nal of the 200-me­tre race at last year’s Com­mon­wealth Games held in Glas­gow, which Maphathe said had fur­ther height­ened ex­pec­ta­tions that he would come good once again.

“We are yet to hear from him be­cause we are also won­der­ing why he did not take part in the 100-me­tre race,” said Maphathe.

“if it is be­cause of in­jury, then it’s a big blow for the as­so­ci­a­tion as he is sup­posed to rep­re­sent the coun­try at next month’s all-africa Games (sched­uled for 4-19 Septem­ber) in Braz­zav­ille, Congo.

“We can only hope if he missed the 100-me­tre race be­cause of in­jury, then it is not bad so that he can be on the track in the Congo.”

on the other hand, Maphathe said he was im­pressed by the per­for­mance of le­sotho’s other ath­lete at the world show­case, tšepo Ra­monene. the 23-yearold had a whirl­wind start to his 42.195-kilo­me­tre race but ended the marathon in 14th place.

“We are happy with Ra­monene’s per­for­mance as this was his first time com­pet­ing at the World Cham­pi­onships,” Maphathe said.

“if you saw that race, he was among the front-run­ners at one stage, but in the end, could only

LIKUENA winger Tšepo Se­tu­ru­mane takes on an An­gola de­fender in this file pic­ture.

Sprinter Mos­ito Le­hata.

LIKUENA in­terim coach Seep­hephe Matete

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