The national soccer team, Likuena, left for Burkina Faso last night after the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) finally secured funding for the trip.
Likuena’s trip to Ouagadougou had remained uncertain until late yesterday, but according to Lefa secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi, the team would now fulfil the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) group stage match against the Stallions on Saturday.
Mohapi would not say where Lefa had finally secured the funding after the national team had broken camp last week, due to lack of funds.
Meanwhile, Likuena coach, Seephephe ‘Mochini’ Matete, told the Lesotho Times he was still confident his charges would beat Burkina Faso despite shambolic preparations, which saw the team only train once late yesterday afternoon for the tie.
“The players are very optimistic and have promised to honour this game, despite the challenges,” Matete said.
“We have not had the best of preparations, but we still have this dream of doing well and qualifying for the Afcon tournament for the very first time.”
Matete further said he was encouraged by the fact that the team has been together for a very long time, and also that his players have been playing competitive football at club level.
“Club football and the national team are always very different, but we have a group of experienced players who have played together for a long time and I’m confident that it will help us perform well on Saturday,” said Matete.
“Burkina Faso are a very good side, and we all know that they were finalists in the Afcon competition two years ago in South Africa, but we will go to Ouagadougou to fight for our country.
“Despite these challenges that we have faced funding-wise, I’m confident that the team will continue to do well because I think we have a very good chance of qualifying for the finals in Morocco next year.
“Luckily, we also managed to book a flight that will help us return home on Sunday so that we start preparing for our next Afcon qualifier against Gabon here at home on Wednesday next week.
“I know it is going to be very tough and also looking at the fact that we will play two matches in a space of four days. But we are strong physically and mentally because we want to make history by ensuring Likuena qualify for their first-ever Afcon final.”