Makoanyane XI warned

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Makoanyane XI man­ager, Thabo Pule, is con­fi­dent Le­sotho would ad­vance to the fi­nal qualifier of the 2017 africa U-20 Cup of na­tions at the ex­pense of Mozam­bique.

Makoanyane XI drew 1-1 with Mozam­bique last Satur­day in Ma­puto and the two teams meet in the re­turn leg of the sec­ond round qualifier on 12 June.

Who­ever wins the tie meets ei­ther South africa or namibia in the fi­nal round of the qual­i­fi­ca­tion cam­paign.

at the end of the qual­i­fi­ca­tion phase, seven teams will join hosts Zam­bia in the con­ti­nen­tal youth show­case.

“I think we have the ad­van­tage fol­low­ing the 1-1 draw away from home,” Pule said.

“What is more im­por­tant is that we have an away goal, and we have enough time to pre­pare and fin­ish the job in two weeks’ time.

“We did not play to our strength in the first-leg match which I feel could have been due to stage­fright for some of the play­ers who have not played at this level be­fore.”

The vet­eran foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tor fur­ther said their squad was de­pleted for the trip be­cause some mem­bers of the team were writ­ing ex­am­i­na­tions.

“our goal is to qual­ify for the tour­na­ment in Zam­bia and I think we have what it takes to achieve that goal,” said Pule.

“The team will be boosted by the avail­abil­ity of some of the play­ers who missed the first leg match as they were sit­ting or pre­par­ing for ex­am­i­na­tions.

“again, the re­turn leg is go­ing to be eas­ier be­cause we now know them well. In the first match, they were a closed book but we are now aware of what to ex­pect.”

how­ever, Pule has warned the play­ers against com­pla­cency.

“Surely, the Mozam­bi­cans will not re­lax know­ing that it will be an away game for them. But the same goes for our play­ers as com­pla­cency and the ad­van­tage of play­ing at home might later haunt them,” he said.

“We have to be cau­tions and work hard to win the game in order to go to the next round.”

Mokoanyane XI qual­i­fied for the con­ti­nen­tal youth tour­na­ment in 2005 un­der coach Seep­hephe Matete and Les­lie notši in 2011.

how­ever, the team could not progress past the group stage at both tour­na­ments.

Makoanyane XI team photo. — File pic­ture.

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