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Crunch time for Likuena

by Lesotho Times
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Interim national football team mentor, Seephephe Matete, on Sunday faces his toughest test since taking over the biggest coaching job in the country.
Lesotho host Liberia in the return leg of the first round qualifier of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, presenting Matete with his sternest test since assuming the national team (Likuena) reins last month.

Likuena enter Sunday’s match trailing 0-1 from the first leg of the qualifiers held in Monrovia two weeks ago, and Matete now needs to inspire his charges to what would be a famous victory against one of Africa’s football powerhouses.
Of course, there are many positives coming into this match and we are all confident our boys will rise to the occasion come Sunday.

The fact that we only conceded a single goal in the first leg match away from home, gives me hope that we have a good chance of bouncing back, thereby advancing to the second round of the biennial tournament.
The most exciting event leading to this match is the arrival of America-based forward Jane Tšotleho, whose game has tremendously improved over the past few years.
The highly-rated striker, who has been in the States for the last nine years, is certainly going to add firepower to our striking department, which already has the likes of Thapelo Tale, Tšepo Lekhooana and Tšepo Seturumane.

The three are experienced campaigners, although they were not really at their best during the just-ended league campaign.
I hope they all come to the party this weekend because it is only through goals that we can get past the West African side.
Former Likuena goalkeeper, Thabane Sutu, who has been mentoring the young striker since he left for the US at the age of 13, has described the striker as a confident player who is not afraid to take-on defenders and has an eye for goal.

I just hope he will be able gel and connect with his new teammates, some of whom he played alongside in the youth structures before he left the country.
It will be crucial for senior players such as Bushy Moletsane and Bokang Mothoana, to welcome the boy and make him feel at home so he lives up to the big expectations of the success-starved nation.
For Matete, this is the stage for him to show his coaching credentials and that he is the right man for the Likuena job.

Matete has faced a lot of criticism since the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) gave him the responsibility to oversee Likuena as the search for a long-term replacement for Leslie Notši continues.
A win on Sunday would prove his critics wrong, while also bring joy to fans who are desperate for Lesotho to make her first appearance at the Afcon tournament.
With that said, I would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope they do us proud.
Well, I cannot go without talking about Makoanyane XI, who continue to make us proud.

The under-20 lads edged Angola 1-0 in Luanda last weekend, to complete a double over the Lusophone country after beating them 3-1 in the first leg tie played at Setsoto stadium two weeks ago.
We, as a country, are very proud of the achievements of Moses Maliehe and his charges as they prepare to face Nigeria in the final round of the Senegal 2015 African Youth Championship qualifiers.

This team has shown a lot of potential and has ground-out results even away from home under very difficult circumstances, which has been a problem for many of our national teams.
Having done so well to advance to the final round of the qualifiers, I am now convinced Makoanyane XI will give Nigeria a run for their money when the two countries meet.
Keep up the good work and good luck!

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