Up­hill task for Me­ha­lal­i­toe

Sunday Express - - SPORT -

LE­SOTHO’S women’s na­tional foot­ball team faces an up­hill task in next month’s Con­fed­er­a­tion of South­ern African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (COSAFA) Cup from 13 to 24 Septem­ber in Bu­l­awayo, Zim­babwe af­ter be­ing drawn in Group C along­side pow­er­houses, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Af­fec­tion­ately known as Me­ha­lal­i­toe, the na­tional team will be­gin their cam­paign against South Africa’s Banyana Banyana on 14 Septem­ber.

Two days later, the Mon­a­heng Mon­tšo-coached out­fit will play Botswana be­fore round­ing off the group stages against Namibia on 1U Septem­ber.

Mon­tšo re­cently told this pub­li­ca­tion that al­though it was not an easy draw, they would do ev­ery­thing in their power to ad­vance to the next stage.

He said they had lined up some friendlies to fine tune their prepa­ra­tions be­fore de­part­ing for Zim­babwe on 11 Septem­ber.

“We have started prepa­ra­tions but some of our play­ers have not re­ported for train­ing due to work com­mit­ments,” Mon­tšo said, adding, “We have writ­ten to their bosses and we hope they will join us next week”.

“We have a friendly against Bloem­fontein Celtic Ladies team on Sun­day (to­day) and we will play Banyana this weekend in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa.”

Mon­tšo said the lo­cal Women’s Su­per League had im­proved the com­pe­ti­tion which was good for the na­tional team.

“The women’s league is very help­ful be­cause the play­ers are in good con­di­tion and the com­pe­ti­tion is there so it makes our job eas­ier.”

Group A con­sists of hosts Zim­babwe, Zam­bia, Mada­gas­car and Malawi while Group B is made up of guests, henya, Mau­ri­tius, Mozam­bique and Swazi­land.

Me­ha­lal­i­toe squad: Goal­keep­ers:

Mosilinyane Le­faphane (kick­4Life), Thato Maifo (LDF), Boi­tumelo Nkeane (Sky Bat­tal­ion)

De­fend­ers:

Hlom­pho Ra­male­fane (Rovers), Retha­bile Ntobo (hick­4Life), Mosili Mot­soe­neng Ler­ato h’heme, Nkotso Mapota (LDF), MAcheche Mat­lamela (Baset­sana).

Boi­tumelo Ra­bale (Bloem­fontein Celtic), Palesa Mpeta, Ntsabeng Peleha (LDF), he­fuoe Maka, Thato Sen­tle, Makobo hepa (hick­4Life), Ma­fusi Phezulu (Baset­sana).

Rele­bo­hile Akhente, Lit­seoane Maloro ( ki c k4Li f e ) , hholu Le­bak- eng (LDF), Nt e b o h e l e n g Sekake (Berea La- dies).

Mid­field­ers: Strik­ers:

LIhUENA in­ter­na­tional, Thapelo ‘Nana’ Tale, has re­fused to ex­tend his stay with premier league side, hick­4Life, say­ing there are “more im­por­tant things” in life than foot­ball.

Last sea­son, the former Likhopo tal­is­man en­dured a frus­trat­ing six month spell at Li­oli be­fore re­viv­ing his ca­reer at hick­4Life.

He had joined Li­oli af­ter spend­ing the en­tire 2014/15 sea­son watch­ing from the stands af­ter fall­ing out with Likhopo.

The stocky striker found the net six times in all com­pe­ti­tions for hick­4Life.

But the 29-year old re­cently brewed a shocker af­ter spurn­ing a new of­fer from the club af­ter the ex­piry of his con­tract.

“I am cur­rently at home train­ing on my own and not even think­ing about foot­ball as I am tak­ing some time off to con­cen­trate on other things,” Tale said.

“I am not at the stage to re­veal what I am work­ing on but there are chances that if things go my way I will not go back to foot­ball for good.”

The noal­ing-born striker was part of the Likuena team that lost 3-4 to Zim­babwe at the COSAFA Cup in South Africa in June but missed the CHAN qual­i­fier against Co­moros due to in­jury.

Mean­while, the 2013/14 premier league top scorer Tse­bang Le­bata is set to miss the first two months of the sea­son due to work com­mit­ments.

The mid­fielder-cum-striker has not linked up with his Bantu side dur­ing the pre-sea­son ahead of their weekend league opener against new boys Se­fotha-fotha at Set­soto Sta­dium.

“I am still with them (Bantu) but I am cur­rently out due to work com­mit­ments in nuthing while the team trains in Maseru, so it’s not pos­si­ble that I join them for train­ing,” Le­bata said.

“But my work con­tract ends in Oc­to­ber and it is only then that I will be able to join the team.”

The former Likuena striker said he was de­ter­mined to re­turn to the start­ing eleven hence his de­ci­sion to train with A Divi­sion side, nuthing LMPS.

“There are very good play­ers in the (Bantu) team and the com­pe­ti­tion is al­ready high. So it is not go­ing to be easy for me but I will just have to work hard to re­gain my place in the team.

“At least the coaches know what I can of­fer. Tak­ing time off will also help me to heal com­pletely from my knee in­jury.”

Bantu as­sis­tant coach, Bob Mafoso, said al­though they would miss Le­bata, his time away would also help him to com­pletely heal.

“He is a good player and he will be missed. But we got good play­ers dur­ing the trans­fer win­dow so he will have to work even harder when he re­turns so that he re­claims his po­si­tion in the team.

“And again he will give us op­tions since he will re­turn in mid-sea­son,” Mafoso con­cluded.

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