Mohapi gets first Likuena call up
LIKUENA coach Thabo Senong has given Kick4Life midfielder Mokoteli Mohapi his first national team call-up after naming him in the provisional squad for two upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Likuena will play Sierra Leon at Setsoto Stadium on the 22 March and will conclude their Group L campaign against Nigeria in Lagos on the 30 March.
Senong’s charges are faced with a mountain to climb when they take on the Super Eagles and the Leone Stars in two must win matches if they are to make it into the AFCON finals in Cameroon next year.
The former Makoanyane XI midfielder was on Friday named in the provisional squad alongside Bolivia-based striker Thabiso Brown, United States-based defender, Thetsane Lesia; and midfielder Tshwarelo Bereng among others.
Likuena are currently anchoring Group L with two points from four matches behind third-placed Sierra Leone and Benin in second. Nigeria is topping the group.
Senong said he was aware that the core of his team lacks match fitness because of the lack of competitive football after the suspension of sporting activities last month.
He however, thanked the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) for allowing the team to immediately start its preparations.
“We are mindful that core of the squad lacks match fitness so, we will come with a training methodology that will help them get into the two matches with confidence and concentration when the qualifiers resume next month,” Senong said.
Senong said his team selection was informed by the team’s needs.
“We looked at some aspects of our game plan including the technical flexibility of players at our disposal, players who can play two or three positions and those who can bring the right chemistry into the set up.
“We also looked at our style against our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses so that we can play with pride.”
Meanwhile, LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi said they have already written to the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) requesting permission for the team to start training since sporting activities are still banned because of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
“On 7 February 2021, the LeFA national executive committee (NEC) approved the proposal for Likuena to start training in preparation for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers between Nigeria and Sierra Leone,” Mohapi said.
The proposal was handed over to the Lesotho Recreation Commission (LSRC) which then forwarded it to Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation minister Likeleli Tampane.
After submitting the budget, LeFA was then requested to source quotations form three service providers for the services that they require.
“LeFA takes the issue of risk management in respect of Covid-19 seriously and will do everything in our power to adhere to NACOSEC’s set rule to avoid the spread of the virus.,” Mohapi said.
LIKUENA PROVISIONAL SQUAD:
Ntsane Lichaba, Sekhoane Moerane and Monaheng Ramalefane.
Nkau Lerotholi, Motlomelo Mkh’wanazi, Lisema Lebokollane, Basia Makepe, Bokang Sello, Thabang Malane and Lesia Thetsane.
Tau Masiu, Tšepo Toloane, Mokoteli Mohapi, Lehlohonolo Fothoane, Luciano Matsoso, Tshwarelo Bereng, Neo Mokhachane, Thabo Matšoele, Thabo Lesaoana, Jane Thabantšo, Tšotleho Jane, Tumelo Ngatane, Litšepe Marabe and Tumelo Khutlang.
Motebang Sera, Tšepo Seturumane, Morapeli Lesoetsa, Thabiso Brown and Nkoto Masoabi.