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Notši urges players not to rest

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — Likuena coach Leslie Notši has urged his players not to rest on their laurels after their success over Burundi.

Last week Notši’s side created their own bit of history by beating Burundi in the 2014 World Cup preliminary qualifiers to progress to the group stages. Likuena won the tie 3-2 on aggregate.Lesotho won 1-0 in the first leg at home thanks to a Lehlomela Ramabele goal.

The result was Likuena’s first competitive international victory since a 3-1 African Nations Cup qualifier victory over Niger in March 2007. In the second leg Lesotho took a 2-0 first half lead through Thapelo Tale and Bokang Mothoana. The hosts rallied to draw 2-2 but could not stop Likuena progressing to a group alongside Ghana, Zambia and Sudan. The victory saw Lesotho moving 14 places up the latest Fifa world rankings released this week. Before this they were 162.But speaking last week Notši said that the Likuena technical team would keep tabs on the players. Other players who were not in the side that accounted for Burundi could stake a claim too.

“The national team needs players who are performing. Others who aren’t in the team we will follow as well,” Notši said.

“They should keep up the good performance. We will be attending matches to follow up to see which ones are doing so,” Notši said.

“We are looking for them to rest. Of course they will be with their club teams,” Notši said. “In the game against Burundi I saw players who have matured a lot. It would be advantageous to us as a national team if their performance keeps improving,” he said.

The coach was also thankful for the support Likuena had received from local fans against the visitors.

“The support was tremendous, we are thankful. We are still moving forward and we will need more of the same support,” Notši said.

Lesotho’s next assignment is a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome e Principe sometime in January.

“In January and February we want to have a couple of friendly matches. Going forward there can be injuries or suspensions so our pool of players has to be big. “Different games in the future will also require different approaches and maybe different personnel,” Notši said.

He added that this would be detailed in a report he is due to hand to the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) next month.

Last week Lesotho moved up 14 places to 148th out of ** countries in Fifa’s latest world rankings, Likuena’s highest since a similar 148 ranking in March last year. This was mainly thanks to the disbanding of the team last February by Lefa.

In August Lesotho’s ranking dropped to an all-time low, 185th in the world. The football association said it would focus instead on the country’s youth team to rebuild for the future. As a result Lesotho did not take part in the 2012 Afcon qualifiers and only returned to the international fold three months ago.

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