Lehata worries athletics authorities
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.”
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