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Triple delight for fans

by Sunday Express
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…as Likuena face Bafana Bafana twice and Swaziland this week

Moorosi Tsiane

National team interim coach Seephephe ‘Mochini’ Matete says bragging rights will be at stake when his charges take on their South African counterparts in two international friendly matches scheduled for Thursday and Saturday afternoon at Setsoto Stadium.

Both teams would be using the matches as part of preparations for the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) tournament to be held from 17-30 May in Rustenburg, South Africa.

According to Matete, the matches would be more than friendlies.

“These will be very good practice matches leading to the Cosafa tournament, but we must approach them very carefully to avoid injuries,” Matete said.

“However, we know how important the results of those matches will be to the nation so we have to win both games to ensure we come out with our heads high. Matches don’t come any bigger than this and although the games will be friendlies, Lesotho don’t like losing to South Africa, so pride will be at stake here.”

The former Matlama mentor said the team has been hard at training for the matches and also for the Cosafa tourney, in which Lesotho have been drawn against Tanzania, Madagascar and Swaziland in Group B, with the group winner proceeding to the quarterfinals. On the other hand, South Africa begin the tournament at the quarterfinal stage, in which they face Botswana.

“We have been training at Lehakoe to increase the players’ fitness level, which has been very low,” he said.

The veteran coach said the team that would play Bafana Bafana would most likely be the one that is going to feature at the Cosafa tournament.

“There is no time left now, and obviously the team that I will be using on Thursday and Saturday is the one which will be playing in Rustenburg. I need to see our weakness and try to rectify them before the tournament. We will only be allowed six substitutes each because we would want to treat this match very seriously”.

According to Matete, the spirit in camp was very high.

“The boys are really looking to the friendlies, as well as the Cosafa tournament, so morale is quite high in camp.”

On his part, Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi said fans would fork out  M50 and M80 for the Open and Royal stands respectively, to watch the matches.

Mohapi added that there would be a double header on Saturday, with Likuena B taking on Swaziland’s under-23 team at 13pm before the Lesotho-South Africa tie.

Meanwhile, Bafana coach, Ephraim Mashaba has released his Cosafa squad, which does not include any of South Africa’s household names as the veteran mentor is using the tournament to groom the inexperienced players for future national duty. This is the team that is likely to face Likuena in the upcoming friendlies.

Bafana squad

Goalkeepers: Jackson Mabokgwane (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Mondle Mphoto (SuperSport FC), Ricardo Goss (Golden Arrows).

Defenders: Madisha Modjeka (M Tigers FC), Subisiso Mxoyana (Vasco da Gama), Marc Van Heerden (AmaZulu FC), Siyabonga Nhlapho (Bidvest Wits), Kwanda Mngonyama (Maritzburg United), Clayton Daniels (SuperSport FC), Daniel Cardoso (Free State Stars), Sibusiso Khumalo (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Midfielders: Cole Alexander (Polokwane City), Thapelo Morena (Bloemfontein Celtic), Thamsanqa Sangweni (Chippa United), Carl Lark (Santos FC), Athenkhosi Dlala (SuperSport FC), Hendrick Ekstein (Kaizer Chiefs), Mzikayise Mashaba (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Strikers: Puleng Tlolane (Polokwane City), Phumelele Bhengu (Thanda Royal Zulu), Gift Matupa (Baroka FC), Moeketsi Sekola (Free State Stars).

Lesotho squad

Goalkeepers: Kananelo Makhooane, Kholuoe Phasumane

Defenders: Tšoanelo Koetle, Nkau Lerotholi, Jeremea Kamele, Thabiso Mohapi, Motiki Mohale, Nketsi Rankhasa, Thabo Masualle.
Midfielders: Bokang Mothoana, Mohau Rammoneng, Bushy Moletsane, Lekhanya Lekhanya, Mabuti Potloane, Jane Thabantšo, Teboho Mota, Hlompho Kalake, Tumelo Khutlang
Strikers: Thapelo Tale, Masoabi Nkoto.

 

 

 

 

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