Makoanyane XI to play Zambia

MASERU — Lesotho Under-20 national team will square off against Zambia in a Caf Under-20 Youth Championships qualifier later this year.

The finals will be staged in Algeria next year.

The Under-20s – affectionately known as Makoanyane XI – will host Zambia in the first leg of the qualifiers at the end of July. The return leg will be played in Lusaka, Zambia, in mid-August.

Makoanyane XI coach Mahao ‘Bomber’ Mahao told the Lesotho Times on Tuesday he was happy with the draw.

“I am happy with the draw because we are dealing with young people who are still developing and want to achieve something later in life,” Matete said.

“These youngsters need to learn certain things from these tournaments and hopefully apply them in near the future if we are to perform better.”

Matete said he could not promise a win from this draw because “football is not mathematics and does not have formulas”.

It is not always wise to promise good results in football as anything can happen, he said.

Matete said when Zambia won the Africa Cup of Nations last month they did not know they were going to win because there were big teams  they were competing against.

“They just prepared themselves well and had the willingness to win the cup,” he said.

He added that his employers were yet to meet with Makoanyane XI’s sponsors, Metropolitan Lesotho, to negotiate a sponsorship package.

If Makoanyane XI defeat Zambia and proceed to the next stage, the locals will face the winners between Mali and Namibia or Rwanda.

Makoanyane XI successfully qualified for last year’s edition played in South Africa but failed to proceed to the next stage of the competition.

The youthful team, which has produced the majority of players in the current national senior team, has not played well since last April.

The locals dismally failed to impress at the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championships held in Botswana last December.

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