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Greetings from Polokwane

by Lesotho Times
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Mikia Kalati

Likuena on Saturday defeated eSwatini 1-0 in the quarterfinal of the COSAFA Cup to reach the semi-finals for the second successive year.

There is no doubt that the confidence of the players was high having each pocketed M5000 incentives from sports minister Mahali Phamotse.

This gesture and that of the Lesotho Football Association president, Salemane Phafane, to pledge another M5000 if the team won against Swaziland worked wonders.

This means that the players are already sure of pocketing M10 000 which is should come with a sigh of relief given the paltry income that the players earn at their respective domestic teams.

The minister deserves a pat on the back for motivating our team to exert extra effort on the field which they did in style by winning the battle of the Kingdoms.

In the same vein, I also applaud Ntate Phafane and his executive committee for pledging incentives for every game that they win including doubling the figure to M10 000 if they win the competition.

I honestly believe that as a country we can get better from our sports if leadership motivates the athletes.

Coming to the field of play, Likuena were the better team from the word go and should have won by a bigger margin had the strikers been more clinical.

It was also important that Lesotho got its revenge against eSwatini who beat us in the same competition in 2015.

There were several positives to take from the game as we start preparing for the 2019 Africa Cup of nations where Likuena host Cape Verde in September this year.

I was impressed with the young Lesia Thetsane, who made his debut for the senior national team in the same game.

Thetsane had also been a late addition to the squad and I have no doubt that the boy has a bright future ahead of him.

He just needs to settle and let his feet do the talking.

He is one of the players whom I feel have the potential to play in big leagues in Europe as he is already playing in a better resourced league in the United States.

His former club, Kick4Life deserves praise for their efforts to take their young players overseas on football and academic scholarships.

Thetsane has grown from the player we saw a few years back while he was still playing for Kick4Life and has definitely become a player for the future.

We also looked solid with Basaia Makepe marshalling the defence and of course the attack looked potent with Tumelo Khutlang who seems to be getting his groove back after a disappointing season for Lioli.

It is not surprising that after the game several South African clubs reportedly contacted Likuena players with a view to sign them in the new season.

Bravo Honourable Phamotse!

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