LIKUENA’S assistant coach Mpitsa Marai is worried by the injuries to some of his key players ahead of next Saturday’s COSAFA Cup quarterfinal clash with Uganda in Durban.
Marai recently told the Sunday Express that striker Nkoto Masoabi and defenders John Mohai and Mkhwanazi Mkhwanazi were among the injured players.
The two sides will meet for the third time in less than a year after Uganda beat Lesotho 3-0 and 2-0 in back to back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers last November.
The east Africans will be this year’s tournament guests and they will use the tournament to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt next month.
“Our main concern at the moment is that some of our players like Masoabi, John and Mkhwanazi are all injured,” Marai said.
“We are going to start a full camp tomorrow (yesterday) as we will be leaving for Durban on Wednesday.”
The former Likuena defender, who was part of the Likuena team that lost to Zimbabwe in the 2000 COSAFA final said they will be out to settle scores withUganda.
“We played them twice and lost so we can’t afford to lose again for the third time in a row. We have identified where we got it wrong in the last two matches and also identified their strengths, so the players know that now we have to go into that match with determination.
“We have also been working hard to instil a winning mentality in the team; remember we have one important match to win because we are starting in the quarter finals. So, if we lose, we are out and we cannot afford that. We have to go for the kill and qualify for the semifinal because from there anything can happen,” he said.
Meanwhile, Uganda have assembled a team of home based players for the match against Likuena. The Cranes clash with South Sudan in late July and early August, and coach Abdallah Mubiru will use the opportunity for top level competition to hone his players for that challenge.
The squad includes Uganda Premier League top scorer Juma Balinya, as well as five other players who were training with the squad that is headed for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt next month.
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