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Cosafa draw excites Likuena coach

 

Moorosi Tsiane

Likuena interim coach Moses Maliehe is confident his charges will do well in the 2016 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa).

The regional showcase takes place in Namibia from 11-25 June.

Lesotho have been drawn in Group B alongside Malawi, Angola and Mauritius while Group A comprises Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Seychelles and Madagascar.

In the quarterfinals, South Africa face Group B winners, while Zambia play Group A victors. Botswana battle Namibia and DR Congo take on Mozambique in the other  quarterfinal matches.

Last year, Likuena were beaten 2-1 by Madagascar in their opening match of the tournament held in South Africa and lost the next tie 2-0 to Swaziland to crash out of the competition at the first hurdle. Although they beat Tanzania 1-0 in the last match it was too little too late for the Mountain Kingdom.

“We are in the tougher of the two qualifying groups as you can see and obviously, it won’t be easy for us to reach the quarterfinals. But despite the stiff opposition, I am confident we can do it. Every team will be going there with their best squad so we are not going to be an exception,” Maliehe said.

“Look at Malawi’s recent form in the Nations Cup qualifiers! They have been outstanding and the same goes for Angola who have very good players. Mauritius are the only inconsistent team in the group but in football, anything can happen and they can be the surprise package of the tournament.”

Maliehe said Likuena would target to win their first fixture to set the tone for the succeeding matches. Last year, Lesotho

“First impressions always count so we have to start the competition on a winning note then see how far we can go. You are also aware that if we win the group, we face South Africa so it is not going to be easy at all.

“But the confidence is high among the players and I am positive we can reach the final,” said Maliehe.

LMPS forward Tšepo Seturumane is still not attending training despite being called-up three weeks ago.

“Our preparations are on track because we have been going to Lehakoe gym in the morning from Monday to Wednesday because I don’t want to disrupt teams’ schedules now that the season is coming to an end.  Seturumane is the only player who hasn’t been attending but we will try to meet with him and hear what the problem is.

Zambia and Zimbabwe have each claimed four Cosafa titles each, while South Africa and Angola are three-time winners. Namibia clinched their first Cosafa title last year.

Likuena squad

Goalkeepers: Daniel Jousse (LCS), Liteboho Mokhehle (Lioli), Makhetha Thakeli (Matlama).

Defenders: Kopano Tseka, Basia Makepe, Bokang Sello, Mafa Moremoholo (all Lioli), Nkesi Rankhasa (Matlama), Sepiriti Malefane (Bantu).

Midfielders: Jerry Kamela (Lioli), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu), Mabuti Potloane , Kefuoe Mahula, Jane Thabantšo, Phafa Tšosane (all Matlama), Tšepo Seturumane (LMPS).

Strikers: Motlalepula Chabeli, Thabiso Brown (both Kick4Life, Tumelo Khutlang, Tšepo Lekhooana (both Lioli).

 

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