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Battle lines drawn

by Lesotho Times
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Likuena, Benin face off today

Leemisa Thuseho

NATIONAL team, Likuena and the Cheetahs of Benin will today (Tuesday) lock horns in the Group C 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers match at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa.

Likuena are heading to the encounter with their tails up following a commendable 1-1 draw against Nigeria on Thursday last week away at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

As for the Cheetahs, they are on the back of a 2-1 loss at the hands South Africa’s Bafana Bafana at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

Today’s match kicks off at 15H00.

Speaking at the press conference on Monday, Likuena coach Leslie Nots’i said they won’t be deceived by their draw against Nigeria and the Benin’s loss to South Africa citing that today’s game will be a different one.

Nots’i said his players just have to believe in themselves and be offensive a much as possible.

He said there are no better times like now for Likuena.

“We want to be as offensive as we can and take the advantage of playing even though it is home away from home,” Nots’i said.

“To us we are saying there is no better time than now and moral is very high within our camp…what to be done is for our  boys to be cautious and create as many as scoring opportunities and convert them while also defending well and playing to our strengths.”

He said they are expecting a very tough encounter against Benin.

“We expect a very tough encounter against Benin and it will be a different ball game altogether from the one against Nigeria.

“We are aware that they (Benin) lost and they would be out for three points this time around…we also want to secure three points and that says a lot how crucial the match is for both countries.”

On his part Benin coach, Gernot Gohr he said they have seen Lesotho when it held Nigeria to a draw and that says his boys should not take Likuena for granted.

“We  saw what they (Lesotho) did in Nigeria and much respect for that,” Gohr said.

“We must really  be careful and not underestimate our opponents.  We are really searching for positive results and we will not make the same mistakes we did in our previous match.

“When the results are not good it is obvious that our fans at home are not happy and it is our responsibility to give them better results,” Gohr said.

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