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Likuena, Mozambique tie off

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — Lesotho’s plans to play an international friendly match against Mozambique next month are hanging in the balance.
Speaking to the Sunday Express on Friday, Likuena team manager, Khiba Mohoanyane, said the game was unlikely to go ahead.
Mohoanyane said the match had been called off after Mozambique fired their coaching team recently.
“Mozambique has said they can’t play the match because they have sacked their technical staff,” he added.
“The plans to arrange a match are not going OK. We got a response from Mozambique and they told us that they have released their coach and assistant coach so they will only be able to play when they have replaced them.”
The cancellation of the friendly tie has dealt a heavy blow to Likuena’s preparations for their crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier against Burundi in November.
Likuena management had hoped to play Mozambique away from home on October 11 and then face Swaziland a few days later.
Mohoanyane said Swaziland had no problem playing Lesotho but their plans had been thrown into disarray by Mozambique’s change in their coaching department.
“We were banking on the game with Mozambique because we were going to play Swaziland on our way back home from Maputo,” he said.
Lesotho might now be forced to play two matches against Swaziland.
“We will discuss with Swaziland. As for Mozambique we don’t know when they will resolve their situation,” Mohoanyane said.
Mohoanyane said that Likuena had to play a couple of more games ahead of the game against Burundi.
Lesotho will host Burundi on November 11 in the first leg before the return leg on November 15.
“We need to have two or three games before we face Burundi. We have to be as prepared as possible and we are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to securing games for the team,” Mohoanyane said.
This week Likuena moved up 18 places to 167 in the Fifa rankings thanks to their impressive 2 — 1 away to Botswana last month.

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