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Likuena to play South Africa

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — Likuena will face South Africa on Tuesday in a friendly match before their Cosafa safari which kicks off next weekend in Zimbabwe. The South African side will be a developmental one and the match will take place at LCS’s Central Prisons ground.

It is Lesotho’s last game before Likuena leave for the Cosafa Castle Challenge which begins in Zimbabwe on Saturday. Tuesday’s match is only a preparatory encounter and will not count as an official Fifa international friendly. Lesotho had hoped to engage their South African counterparts in a friendly last Friday as well, but because of the congested domestic league schedule Likuena will play Amabineplaas, as the reserve sides are known, once.

The Amabineplaas are made up of lower division and junior international players, and will represent South Africa at the Cosafa Challenge where they are the defending champions. Because the Cosafa showpiece falls outside Fifa’s official calendar South Africa have sent reserve teams to its last two editions but have still won them both.

Tuesday’s game is a much-needed tune-up for Likuena ahead of the Cosafa Challenge and it is the first outing for the side since last month’s disastrous trip to Malaysia. It is also the first time Lesotho have faced South Africa since the B-international game in Johannesburg early last year, where Likuena lost 5-0.

Lesotho’s caretaker coach Leslie Notši has selected his strongest possible squad for the Cosafa Challenge with the only absentee being captain Lehlohonolo Seema, playing for South African outfit Orlando Pirates, who is unavailable. Likuena have been placed in group alongside the hosts Zimbabwe and Mauritius. The group has been reduced to three teams after invitees Tanzania pulled out of the tournament.

This means Lesotho’s first game will now be on Sunday against Zimbabwe. Likuena will then play Mauritius on October 21.

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