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Likuena, Bafana in CHAN clash

Mikia Kalati

THE senior soccer national team, Likuena were yesterday drawn against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) draw held at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

The Moses Maliehe coached side will host the first leg on a date yet to be announce while the return match will take place in South Africa.

The two countries will only start their campaign in the second round after both were given a bye following their impressive performances in the COSAFA Cup.

Only domestic league players are eligible for selection in the CHAN tournament.

Maliehe welcomed the draw and said he expects an exciting duel when the neighbours battle it out for a place in the third round of the qualifiers.

“I think it’s a fair draw because it does not favour any of the two teams,” Maliehe said adding: “But it’s going to be a very competitive game between two neighbouring countries”.

“But I expect a tough match because encounters between these two countries have always produced fireworks.”

Maliehe said matches between Likuena and Bafana Bafana always get the best out of his players and he is confident that they will rise to the occasion over the two-legged tie.

The two countries last met in the 2018 edition of the regional COSAFA Cup with South Africa winning the match on penalties.

The Likuena mentor said the upcoming ties will present a good opportunity for other players to showcase what they can do as only local based players are eligible to play in it.

The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has also hinted that the team could be coached by a completely different coach who will select new faces for the CHAN qualifiers.

“Our football has grown a lot in recent years because now we have about eight players playing outside the country although they will not be eligible for the two games against South Africa.

“It’s a chance for other players to show what they can do. It’s not always easy to pick all the players who have been doing well in the league. So, this is a chance for them because there was a discussion that for CHAN, we will have different players to create a bigger pool of players for the national team.

“The whole purpose of registering for this competition is to give young players international exposure,” Maliehe said.

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