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Likuena ready for Ethiopia: Senong

Moorosi Tsiane

SENIOR national soccer team coach Thabo Senong says his charges are ready for the second leg of their 2022 World Cup preliminary qualifier against Ethiopia this afternoon at Setsoto Stadium.

Likuena need a win to advance to the group stages of the qualifiers after holding Ethiopia to a goalless draw in Bahir Dar on Wednesday.

Senong, who was in the Likuena dugout for the first time since his appointment last month, said he was impressed with his side’s performance in Ethiopia adding that they now need to finish the job here at home.

“I was impressed with their performance and the overall results in Ethiopia,” Senong said.

“We were playing a tactically strong side which is good in keeping possession but our game plan was to deny them a chance to penetrate through the middle and force them to play on the wings.

“Now, we just need to work on bringing back the players’ fitness and prepare them for the Sunday (today’s) encounter.

“The home team had a massive crowd rallying behind them in Ethiopia but our boys stood strong and absorbed the pressure. The plan was to frustrate them and it nearly worked for us as we created chances but were not clinical.”

Senong said going into today’s match, they have to work on improving their movement when they attack.

“We need to prepare the team psychologically for the weekend match because their character is going to be tested.

“Our movements also can improve while also need to work on our finishing because we will need goals. That is what we need to work on now going forward,” he said.

Senong said they are also working on the injured players to ensure that they are ready for the match on Sunday.

Among the injured players are Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, who was substituted early in the second half on Wednesday and Tumelo Khutlang, who has been recovering from injury since last month. On Wednesday Khutlang was on the bench.

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