Ul­ti­mate show­down

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Staff Reporter Mikia Kalati

THE le­sotho Elec­tric­ity Com­pany (LEC) will host their re­gional coun­ter­parts in the four-day in­ter Power Games which be­gin to­day.

the Games, which are an an­nual event hosted al­ter­nately by six com­pa­nies, are aimed at shar­ing ideas, dis­cussing and de­bat­ing emerg­ing is­sues in the en­ergy sec­tor.

ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased by the LEC this week, the Games are also a way of so­cial­is­ing and im­prov­ing well­ness amongst em­ploy­ees.

teams from Botswana, Namibia, South africa and Swazi­land would be com­pet­ing against their le­sotho coun­ter­parts in var­i­ous sport­ing codes such as foot­ball, net­ball, vol­ley­ball, lawn ten­nis, ta­ble ten­nis, chess, pool, golf, ath­let­ics, darts and tug-of-war. the games will be played si­mul­ta­ne­ously at lehakoe Recre­ation and Cul­tural Cen­tre, Bam­batha Sports arena and Set­soto Sta­dium.

“other ac­tiv­i­ties to take place dur­ing the games are the ladies Cul­tural Ex­change Event where ladies from var­i­ous coun­tries will show­case their cul­tural per­for­mances as well as the Pro­fes­sional Cat­e­gory where pro­fes­sion­als will de­bate on emerg­ing is­sues and the win­ning Com­pany will be awarded prizes,” the LEC noted in the state­ment.

En­ergy and Me­te­o­rol­ogy Min­is­ter Se­libe Mo­choboroane will of­fi­ci­ate the open­ing cer­e­mony at Set­soto Sta­dium on Fri­day morn­ing, while the clos­ing cer­e­mony is set for thaba-bo­siu Cul­tural Vil­lage on Satur­day.

“over 800 par­tic­i­pants are ex­pected to ar­rive in Maseru on thurs­day from util­ity com­pa­nies in Botswana, Namibia, South africa and Swazi­land. in le­sotho, both LEC and the Le­sotho High­lands De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (LHDA) will par­tic­i­pate in the Games,” the LEC added in the state­ment.

“the in­ter Power Games have a long his­tory ex­tend­ing from the year 1996, and ever since, the games have ro­tated be­tween the coun­tries on an an­nual ba­sis. last year the games were hosted by the Botswana Power Cor­po­ra­tion.” Na­tional team in­terim coach, Moses Maliehe, was in high spir­its this week ahead of Satur­day’s 2017 africa Cup of Na­tions (af­con) qual­i­fier against the Seychelles away in Vic­to­ria.

This will be Maliehe’s first of­fi­cial match in charge of likuena and the Mat­lama men­tor was un­fazed by the al­most in­sur­mount­able task he faces in tak­ing le­sotho to the ‘Promised land’ of Gabon next year.

Win­less le­sotho go into the match bot­tom of four-team Group J, which also com­prises lead­ers al­ge­ria, se­cond-placed Ethiopia and the Seychelles.

al­ge­ria have won all their two matches and are favourites to win the group and au­to­mat­i­cally qual­ify for the fi­nal Af­con tour­na­ment in Gabon early next year, while Ethiopia have won one match and drawn one, with the Seychelles los­ing one and draw­ing one of their fix­tures.

But Maliehe is look­ing ahead and not at what hap­pened when his pre­de­ces­sor, Seep­hephe Matete, was still in charge.

What only ap­pears to bother the coach is the time his charges would spend on the road be­fore their next match against the same is­lan­ders at Set­soto Sta­dium next tues­day.

likuena left for the Seychelles yes­ter­day and are ex­pected home on Sun­day.

“From here, we will drive to Jo­han­nes­burg, fly to Dubai, and then take a con­nect­ing flight to the Seychelles. that’s a long trip be­fore such a cru­cial tie but we have to do the job and also be ready for the re­turn leg next week,” Maliehe said.

“We will go there with one thing in our minds, and that is to win the game be­cause i have con­fi­dence in the play­ers I have picked for the two match.”

Maliehe has se­lected a rel­a­tively new squad to the one used by Matete. the team was also boosted by Mon­day morn­ing’s ar­rival of Amer­ica-based mid­fielder Jane ‘Sunny’ tšotleho.

the coach also added li­oli goal­keeper, Kananelo Makhooane, to his orig­i­nal squad which had Lite­boho Mokhehle and Daniel Jousse as the two stop­pers.

Maliehe was happy with his squad’s prepa­ra­tions.

“i think we have cov­ered alll the ar­eas we needed to ad­dress since we started arted with this group late last year. What is left ft now is for us to do our coun­try proud in the­se­hese qual­i­fiers. like i said, we have a chancee to qual­ify as one of the two best run­ners-up up but for this to hap­pen, we need to win all our re­main­ing four qual­i­fiers.”

For his part, amer­ica-basedd Jane ‘Sunny’ tšotleho said he was hon­ouredd to be back in the na­tional team af­ter an eight-mon­thght-month ab­sence.

the 24-year-old was part off the likuena squad that played at the re­gional onal Cosafa tour­na­ment held in South africa frica last year.

“it is al­ways an hon­our to bee part of likuena and i will give my bestest to make sure the team per­forms well in the two matches,” tšotleho said.

“i ar­rived a bit tired af­ter the long trip from the States, bu­tut i will surely be ready for the wee­keek­end game.

“the good thing for me is i had a chance to be in camp with thishis group while I was here in De­cemm­ber,” he said.

Full squad Goal­keep­ers: Daniel Joussesse (LCS), lite­boho Mokhehle (li­oli),oli), Kananelo Makhooane (li­oli).

De­fend­ers: Kopano tseka, Ba­sia Makepe, Bokang Sello, Mafa More­mo­holo (all li­oli), Nkesi Rankhasa (Mat­lama) Sepir­iti Male­fane (Bantu).

MID­FIELD­ERS: Jerry Kamela, mela, Hlom­pho Kalake (Bantu), Ke­fuoe Mahula, Jane tha­ban­tšo,tšo, Phafa tsosane (all Mat­lama),ma), Jane ‘Sunny’ tšotleho (Rich­mond ond Kicker, US).

Strik­ers: Mot­lalepula Cha­beli, beli, thabiso Brown (both Kick­4life,life, lehlomela Ram­a­bele (likhopo), opo), tumelo Khut­lang (li­oli).

LIKUENA in­terim coach Moses Maliehe

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