Likuena shift focus to CHAN
LIKUENA coach Moses Maliehe says they have put behind them the disappointment of failing reach the regional COSAFA Cup final and are fully focused on Sunday’s away test against the Comoros in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers.
The return leg will be played at Setsoto stadium in a fortnight.
Lesotho improved on last year’s showing by reaching the semi-finals where they narrowly lost 3-4 to eventual champions, Zimbabwe.
They also lost to Tanzania on penalties in the third and fourth place play-off.
Speaking to the Lesotho Times prior to their departure on Tuesday, Maliehe said “the players have put the disappointment behind them and they are fully focused on the task at hand”.
“We learnt the hard way and we were disappointed to see our dream of getting to the final fade in the semi-final against Zimbabwe.
“There was a chance to redeem ourselves in the third/fourth place playoff but unfortunately it did not go according to our plan.”
The Likuena coach said despite the disappointment, the regional competition gave them the platform to gain exposure especially the likes of the Us-based Napo Matsoso and Itumeleng Faleni who earned their competitive debuts. “I think the two players did very well. “We noted our mistakes and we have tried to correct them in the build up to Sunday’s game.
“The players look to have recovered their confidence after those losses to Zimbabwe and Tanzania,” he said.
The Likuena coach has been forced to reshuffle his squad following injuries to captain Bokang ‘Lefty’ Mothoana while Napo Matsoso is not eligible to play the CHAN games which is meant for locally based players.
Maliehe has also drafted in Motiki Mohale to strengthen his defence while Lehlohonolo Fothoane of A division side, Swallows has replaced Bokang Mothoana.
“Unfortunately, Mothoana has not recovered from injury and we recalled Fothoane to take his place while Mohale has been brought back to fight for a place in defence.
“But I believe we are ready to do battle with Comoros to reach the next stage of the competition,” he said. Likuena squad to face Comoros: Goalkeepers: Likano Mphuthi and Sam Ketsekile.
Defenders: Thapelo Mokhehle, Kopano Tseka, Mafa Moremoholo, Bokang Sello, Mkwanazi Mkwanazi, Motiki Mohal, Itumeleng Falene.
MIDFIELDERS: Hlompho Kalake, Thabiso Mohapi, Kefuoe Mahule, Mabuti Potloane, Tumelo Khutlang, Lehlohonolo Fothoane, Tšoanelo Koetle, Jane Thabantšo
Forwards: Thapelo Tale and Motebang Sera.
ZIMBABWE’S Talent Chawapiwa is challenged by Tšoanelo Koetle of Lesotho during the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup Semifinal match at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg. Zimbabwe won the match by 4 - 3.