Home Sport Bahlabani in tough COSAFA opener

Bahlabani in tough COSAFA opener

by Lesotho Times
0 comment 48 views

Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho national under-17 soccer team will tomorrow get their COSAFA Cup campaign underway in a tough fixture against South Africa.

Lesotho has enjoyed relative success in different categories of the regional competition with Likuena coming third in the seniors’ tournament in June this year in South Africa.

However, it is the first time that Lesotho is participating in the under-17 category which will be hosted by Mauritius for the third year in a row.

Bahlabani take on their neighbours tomorrow before facing defending champions, Zambia, two days later. They finish the group stage campaign against Mozambique on 24 July 2018.

Coach, Halemakale Mahlaha, said his charges are ready for the big test against South Africa.

Before heading to Mauritius, Lesotho beat Botswana in two practice matches in Gaborone.

However, Mahlaha said it would not be easy playing South Africa and Zambia in their first two matches.

“It is a tough group but to prove our worth we must play with the best,” Mahlaha said this week from Mauritius.

“The boys’ work in training gives me a lot of confidence. They have responded with discipline and determination.”

He said he has reiterated to the boys that they should not be under pressure but they must be fearless and get the necessary exposure.

“Like I have said earlier, we need to give them exposure with competitive tournaments like COSAFA.

“However, I am confident that they will be worthy competition. We have settled well and we are adapting to the weather conditions since our arrival.

“Being here early has helped us and we are looking forward to our first game against South Africa and the rest of the tournament,” he said.

The biggest reward for the 12 teams participating at the 2018 edition of the tournament in Mauritius will be qualification for the FIFA under-17 World Cup finals scheduled for Peru next year.

The winners of the regional tournament will battle it out with eight other countries in the continental finals penned in for Tanzania later. All semi-finalists from the tournament will be guaranteed a place in the World Cup in Peru.

Bahlabani COSAFA fixture

20 July 2017

Lesotho v South Africa — Auguste Vollaire Stadium

22 July 2018

Lesotho v Zambia — Auguste Vollaire Stadium

24 July 2018

Lesotho v Mozambique — Auguste Vollaire Stadium

You may also like

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.