MASERU — Likuena captain, Moitheri Ntobo, believes a win over neighbours, South Africa, in today’s tie at Setsoto Stadium will earn the Lesotho team respect from the global football community. South Africa is 99 places ahead of Lesotho on the Fifa rankings. The lanky defender told the Sunday Express that this is the stage that he and his teammates have all been waiting for.
“We are motivated to show our neighbours and the rest of the world that we are a good team that can give any team a run for their money on any day,” Ntobo said. “We are unbeaten in our last four competitive matches here at home and we will go all-out to protect that record.” Ntobo said the encounter will also be emotional for them as it takes place five days after the death of their former teammate Sello Muso.
“It has been a sad week for all the players, but it is also important that we win this match in his memory,” said Ntobo.
The Likuena camp has been boosted by the arrival of star player, Bokang Mothoana, who arrived in the country on Friday. The Tunisia-based gifted utility player said he is itching to face South Africa at a senior level after enjoying good results against them at youth level. Mothoana told this paper that they will fight for the flag of the country and also to honour his former teammate.
“Our country has lost a very special player. It is very painful for me because I have played with him through the youth ranks as well as at club level,” Mothoana said. Bafana Bafana coach, Gordon Igesund, told reporters before they left South Africa that they expect to be given a test by their lowly ranked opponents.
“They (Lesotho) will give us a good game. They drew 1-1 with Zambia in their last game,” Igesund said after a training session in Germiston.
“The game against Lesotho is one I’m very grateful for because we couldn’t get any other opposition.
“The gap between countries has closed dramatically, and it’s not important to just go out there and win, but to try out different combinations.” He added: “We haven’t scored a lot of goals in the Premiership, but it’s about the way you play and create chances.” “I don’t think we will have a problem and I hope the ball bounces for us.”
Likuena’s probable starting line-up:
The Lesotho’s first choice goalkeeper will certainly retain his position in goals as
he has been the best option between the sticks in the home matches.
He has recently overcome a long layoff injury and off-the-field problems with his club Lioli. He gave a solid performance in the last match against Zambia.
The Lioli defender has had a successful season with his club and has made the right-back position his in the national team colours despite playing as a centre back at club level.
Masualle is an intelligent and modern defender and brings a lot of experience in the team.
The Tunisia-based utility player has featured as the other full back for the team on the left side of the pitch.
He gives the team options going forward, he is a good passer of the ball and is a dead ball specialist in the team having scored from a corner in the 2014 World Cup preliminary tie against Burundi.
The Matlama captain returns to the team after missing the World Cup tie against Zambia and will surely win his place back in central defence.
Lerotholi is a no-nonsense defender and is very strong in the air.
The lanky and experienced centre back is expected to lead the team once again and is likely to be partnered by Lerotholi in
the heart of the Likuena defence.
He has been a vital member of the team over the past three years.
Ralekoti Mokhahlane and Motlalepula Mofolo
The duo has formed a good partnership in the middle of the park over the years and tomorrow’s match gives them another chance to continue where they left off against Zambia.
Both players are hard workers and give the team options in attack. They have been outstanding in the last league matches and Notsi will look to them to play a vital
role against Bafana Bafana.
The diminutive winger was not his usual self against Zambia and has to lift his game to keep his place in the team.
Moleko has pace and on his day is not scared to take on defenders from the wings while he brings a lot of creativity going forward.
The Likuena mentor could be tempted to give the league’s top goal scorer Tšepo Seturumane his first start in the colours of the national team after an impressive season with Lioli. He was the source of goals for Tse Nala as they lifted the league title.
The Maluti FET College striker was one of the outstanding players for Likuena in the last encounter against Zambia and is expected to take the leading role as the main striker for the team.
He is a physically strong box-to-box striker and defenders always feel his presence. The Free State-based forward keeps the defence busy for the whole 90 minutes.
Marabe is a player for big occasions as he proved against Zambia. He scored a brilliant goal from a solo effort against Chipolopolo in the dying minutes of the game and a lot will be expected from him against Bafana Bafana as a lot of South African teams have shown interest in his services.