Likuena shift fo­cus to CHAN

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

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.

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