MASERU — Makoanyane XI will today kick off their campaign in the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championship when they take on group favourites Malawi in Gaborone.
The championship ends next Sunday.
Lesotho will face the Seychelles in their next match tomorrow.
But Makoanyane XI will face their sternest test in what is a must-win tie against the experienced Malawians.
The last time the two sides met in 2008, Lesotho lost 1-0.
Lesotho however are expecting to re-write the history books after head coach Mahao ‘Bomber’ Matete left with a number of experienced players on Thursday.
Goalkeeper Kananelo Makhoane, defenders Tšoaneli Koetle and Salebone Lekhooa, midfielders Jeremea Kamele and Thabiso Mohapi and strikers Lehlomela Ramabele, Litsepe Marabe, Tsebang Lebata, Montoeli Sonopo and Motlalepula Chabeli have the necessary firepower to take the side into the knock-out phase.
These players made up the squad that took Africa by storm when it qualified for the eight-team Caf Youth Championship in South Africa in April this year.
Makoanyane XI are also in top form after they won their last preparatory match against South Africa last Saturday.
Lesotho edged their neighbours 2-1
But Malawi are not going to be a push-over either.
They come into the tie well-drilled with their head coach saying they are determined to lift the championship.
“We will fight to win the championship,” John Kaputa, Malawi’s head coach, told the media this week.
“It is not about participation, we are going there to fight for the best,” he said prior to his team’s departure for Botswana last week.
In their last preparatory match, the Malawians played to a one-draw against local team Bullets FC last week.
Makoanyane XI squad:
Goalkeepers: Kananelo Makhoane and Matebele Mareka. Defenders: Salebone Lekhoaoa, Mkwanazi Motlomelo, Sepiriti Malefane, Tumisang Bereng, Mafa Moremoholo, Motiki Mohale and Tsoaneli Koetle. Midfielders Thabiso Mohapi, Mohau Rammoneng, Thuso Mankoane, Teboho Lekhooa, Jeremea Kamele and Lebajoa Mosehlenyane. Strikers: Lehlomela Ramabele, Litsepe Marabe, Tsebang Lebata, Montoeli Sonopo and Motlalepula Chabeli.