Mikia Kalati MASERU — Likuena coach, Leslie Notši, is a happy man after the national football team secured an international friendly match against Swaziland that is set for Mbabane this afternoon.
The associations of the two countries agreed to cancel most league matches to give their struggling national teams a chance to be in action after both failed to get friendly games against stronger continental teams in recent months.
Friendly matches against Namibia, Yemen and Mozambique failed to materialise in the last two months, throwing Likuena’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in disarray. Notši told the Sunday Express he welcomed the match against the lowly ranked regional opponents with both hands.
“It’s really a sigh of relief that we will get some game time against the Swazi national side on Sunday. We have continued with our training programme since we played them over two matches here at home earlier last month,” he said.
“The most important thing for our team is to remain on the right track for the World Cup qualifiers despite failing to play the many friendly matches we wanted.” This will be the third meeting between the two countries in less than two months. Likuena won 1-0 and lost 1-2 during Sihlangu’s visit to Lesotho last month. “We cannot underestimate Swaziland because they have a new Belgian coach who seems to be doing wonders for them in their rebuilding phase,” Notši said.
Sihlangu were withdrawn from both the World Cup and African Cup of Nations qualifiers as they rebuild a team for the future. Likuena left the country on Friday and Notši has kept faith in most of the players that started the World Cup qualifiers campaign in June this year. The former Lioli and Matlama mentor said it is important for his team to play as many friendly matches as possible. “Everybody knows that we are in a tough group and we will do everything we can to be competitive until our next game against Zambia,” he said.
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