THE senior national soccer team, Likuena, recently took part in the just ended COSAFA Cup that took part in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
Likuena put up a good fight in their first match beating eSwatini 1-0 and booked a date with Zimbabwe in the semi-final courtesy of a Motebang Sera goal.
The Moses Maliehe coached squad was however unfortunate to lose to Zimbabwe on Wednesday and the result deferred the dream to win their debut COSAFA Cup to next year.
I was impressed with how Maliehe’s squad fought against eSwatini and eventually held Zimbabwe to a goalless draw in 90 minutes before they eventually were stopped by the heroics of George Chigova in penalties.
It comes as no surprise that several Likuena players have caught the eye of a few South African scouts who were camped in Polokwane.
Basia Makepe, Tumelo Khutlang, Nkoto Masoabi and Motebang Sera are among players that have attracted the attention of the South African clubs in the Absa Premiership and the National First Division.
Among the four teams are Polokwane City, Baroka FC and Black Leopards who will all play premiership football next season while Jomo Cosmos plays the first division.
I hope all four players will be able to finalise their negotiations with the respective sides for both their good and that of the country’s football.
We all know that football does not pay in Lesotho as we are still growing and moving to the lucrative South African League would be beneficial for local players. It will also enhance the quality for our national side since the pool of foreign based players with better exposure would have increased.
Our national team always struggles when it comes to international competitions due to players’ lack of exposure as our League is still small.
Having four more players adding to the list of players plying their trade outside the country will definitely help. In the long run, Likuena may actually have the quality to enable us to qualify for competitions such as the Africa Cup of Nations. In the past we have only been restricted to the regional COSAFA cup which we are still to win.
The monetary pledges from both the Lesotho Football Association and the Minister of Sport, Mahali Phamotse, motivated the boys to produce hearty performances. I just hope that the players now understand and see the importance of working hard for nothing worth having comes easy.
Before I bow out, I would like to pass on my condolences to the football fraternity, Majantja FC and the Lebeta family following the death of Majantja head coach, Keketso Fonda Lebeta.
Lebeta’s passing after a long illness is a huge loss to the sport community at large as he was, in his hey days, one of the country’s top tennis stars.