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Jane delays arrival

 

Moorosi Tsiane

America-based Likuena midfielder Tšotleho Jane is expected to arrive in the country tomorrow to join his teammates ahead of their trip to Seychelles on Tuesday for a crunch Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier.

The match is scheduled for Friday with the return leg set for Setsoto Stadium on 29 March against the same opponents.

National team interim coach, Moses Maliehe, yesterday confirmed the left-footed Richmond Kickers attacking midfielder would not be arriving home on Monday. He had initially been expected to join the team last Thursday before Likuena’s two friendlies against Swaziland, which had been set for yesterday and today in Mbabane, were cancelled at the 11th hour.

“Tšotleho is still with his team at the moment but is expected here on Monday morning because we will be leaving for the Seychelles on Tuesday,” said Maliehe.

Maliehe also said the team was still in camp despite the Swaziland debacle. The Swaziland trip had to be called off late Thursday after the premier league management insisted that Lioli should play their match against LCS today. This was despite the fact that Lioli had nine players in the national team. In response, Lioli requested their players from the national team, and after the stalemate, the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) decided to call off the Mbabane tour.

“We are still in camp. We only released players for the teams that are playing league matches  this weekend but they are expected to join us after their matches tomorrow,” Maliehe said.

However, Maliehe said the cancellation of the Swaziland trip had left his players disappointed.

“We were all disappointed because those were supposed to be our last friendlies before the Seychelles matches.

“The development really affected our plans for the matches as there were things we wanted to look at and work on before we met the Seychelles,” Maliehe said.

“There are no changes to the 19 players I selected for the qualifiers even after this chaos. I think despite the cancellation of the Swaziland tour, the boys are going to be ready when we meet the Seychelles. They understand that it is not only about them but always the country’s pride.”

Lesotho have already lost their opening Group J qualifiers away to Ethiopia and at home against leaders Algeria, nut Maliehe believes the team could still qualify for the continental showcase to be held in Gabon as one of the two best runners-up. Winless Lesotho are bottom of their group, while Algeria are top on six points after winning both their fixtures, Ethiopia are second on four after one win and one draw and Seychelles are third with one draw and one loss.

Full Likuena squad

Goalkeepers: Daniel Jousse (Lioli), Liteboho Mokhehle (Lioli).

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

Midfielders: Jerry Kamela, Tšoanelo Koetle (both Lioli), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu), Kefuoe Mahula, Jane Thabantšo (both Matlama).

Strikers: Motlalepula Chabeli, Thabiso Brown (both Kick4Life), Lehlomela Ramabele (Likhopo), Tumelo Khutlang (Lioli), Tšotleho Jane (Richmond Kickers, US).

 

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