Likuena coach Moses Maliehe has praised his charges following impressive performances at the regional Cosafa tournament currently underway in Namibia.
The national football team arrived in the country yesterday after losing to South Africa on penalties in the quarterfinals last Saturday. Likuena also lost the plate semi-final to Zambia 3-2 on Tuesday night, but Maliehe says he has nothing but praise for the players after Likuena won all their group matches against Malawi, Madagascar and Angola to proceed to the quarterfinal stage.
“The team was a bit tired when we played Bafana Bafana who were playing their first match of the tournament as they joined in at the quarterfinal stage,” he said.
“We had played three matches against tough opponents in a space of a week and that was too much on the team.
“But despite the fatigue and injuries to some of our key players, we kept fighting. That has made me a proud coach and we just have to continue with the good work.
“There are a lot of positives to be taken from the tournament in Namibia and I believe we will get better with time.
“We made a number of changes to the team to give other players a run and we were not that bad except that we lost concentration to give away our lead against Zambia and eventually lose the tie.”
The changes included bringing in Matlama captain Phafa Tšosane, who played his first match against Zambia and scored a beautiful free-kick.
“The boys got the exposure they needed and responded very well winning all their matches in the group stage,” he said.
This was the first time that Likuena won all their group stage matches without conceding a goal.
Jane Thaba-Ntšo also set a new record at the tournament, scoring the fastest goal in the opening match against Mauritius which came just 34 seconds into the game.
The Matlama forward was also the team’s top goalscorer in Namibia after finding the net three times.
Likuena Cosafa squad
Daniel Jousse, Sepiriti Malefane, Basia Makepe, Mafa Moremoho, Kopano Tseka, Hlompo Kalake, Mabuti Potloane, Kefuoe Mahula, Jane Thaba-Ntso, Tsepo Seturumane, Tumalo Khutlang, Liteboho Mokhehle, Bokang Sello, Phafa Tsosane, Sera Motebang, Motlomelo Mkwanazi, Montoeli Sonopo, Thabo Seakhoa.