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Likuena off to Pretoria camp

by Lesotho Times
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Mikia Kalati

LIKUENA will today head out for a week-long training camp at the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre to fine tune their preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cape Verde on 24 March 2019.

The Moses Maliehe coached side is second behind already qualified Uganda and need a win against the Blue Sharks in their final match of the qualifiers to secure a historic spot at the tournament to be staged in Egypt later this year.

Likuena team manager and LeFA’s second vice president Rantsubise Matete confirmed that the team will this week leave the country for the training camp that will last until the team departs for Cape Verde next Wednesday.

The two countries will go head-to-head on 24 March at the Praia Stadium.

Matete said the squad has been hard at work with local based players but will be joined by their foreign based players during their camp in Pretoria.

“The preparations with the local based players have been going well for three days per week so that the players can also work with their clubs in the domestic league,” Matete said.

“But now the team is in camp full-time since Sunday. The team will then go to Pretoria on Thursday (today) before departing for Cape Verde on the 20th of March.”

Matete indicated that Likuena will play the Blue Sharks on 24th and will be expected back home the following day.

However, Matete said the Black Leopards duo of Tumelo Khutlang and Tshwarelo Bereng along with Nkoto Masoabi of Real Kings in the South African A Division will join the team in Pretoria. He also said Luciano Matsoso has been dropped from the squad due to lack of competitive football at the Limpopo based outfit.

Meanwhile, the American duo of Lesia Thetsane and Jane Tšotleho will link up with the team on their way to Cape Verde.

“We are taking Khutlang and Bereng because Luciano has not been playing and the coach is not happy with his level of fitness.

“So, this group will link up with the team in Pretoria though their coach at Black Leopards wanted to release them early to come to Lesotho, but we felt it’s better to meet with them at the High-Performance Centre Masoabi will also join the team in South Africa.

“Thetsane and Tšotleho will also join the team but will link with us on our way to Cape Verde.”

This publication is informed that the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) will fork out over M200 000 for the camp in Pretoria although just said “the LSRC spent a lot of money on the preparations for the game against Cape Verde”.

He said that the commission has done all in its power to assist Maliehe with all his needs for the trip so that he does not blame the management if Likuena fails to qualify for the prestigious continental competition.

He also praised the ministry for coming to the party by paying for the flight tickets to the Portuguese speaking country.

“It’s not an easy trip at all financially. The costs are very high, but we have constantly engaged the coach regarding his needs for the trip.

“Luckily, the government, through the ministry, has helped us with the flight tickets for the trip and we have committed to giving the coach all he needs wants so that when the team loses, the blame will be on him and the players,” Matete said.

Likuena squad to face Cape Verde

GOALKEEPERS: Sam Ketsekile (LCS), Monaheng Ramalefane (Matlama, Tankiso Chaba (Liphakoe)

DEFENDERS: Mafa Moremoholo (Lioli), Bokang Sello (Bantu), Lesia Thetsane (Columbia College USA ), Kopano Tseka (Lioli), Nkau Lerotholo and Basia Makepe (both) LMPS).

MIDFIELDERS: Kefuoe Mahula, Jane Thabantšo (Matlama, Sepiriti Malefane, Setho Moshoeshoe (both LCS), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu), Tumelo Khutlang Tshwarelo Bereng (both Black Leopards), Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli), Rethabile Selonyane (Linare), Jane Tšotleho Louisville City (USA).

STRIKERS: Motebang Sera (Matlama), Roboama Koloti (LMPS) and Nkoto Masoabi (Real Kings).

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