Likuena interim coach calls up four experienced players for Kenya clash
National football team interim coach, Seephephe “Mochini” Matete, has beefed-up his squad ahead of next month’s Africa Cup of Nations clash against Kenya.
The first leg of the second round fixture takes place at Setsoto stadium on 20 July, with the return leg scheduled for a fortnight later.
Matete yesterday told the Lesotho Times he had called up the experienced LCS duo of midfielder Ralekoti Mokhahlane and goalkeeper Sam Ketsekile, Lioli left-back Jerry Kamele and Bantu striker Tsebang “Owen” Lebata.
“We have beefed-up the squad ahead of the important fixture against Kenya, where we would want to kill the game in the first leg to be played here at home,” Matete said.
The veteran mentor said it was important to win the first leg tie convincingly as the reverse fixture would be played under potentially hostile conditions away in Nairobi.
“That is why we have to field our strongest possible squad and can’t afford to slip-up, hence the inclusion of these experienced players.”
Matete also said America-based striker Jane Tšotleho would be part of the team and was expected to play an important role in the first leg tie. Tšotleho (22) made his debut for Likuena, as the national team is popularly known, in the 2-0 win over Liberia in the return leg of the first round of the continental qualifiers.
“He is a brilliant player and you have to give him credit because he had been with us for a short time, but managed to play so well. He is definitely part of the team and a good player for the future,” Matete said.
Matete also said he was working hard to improve the players’ fitness.
“I have made arrangements to utilise the Lehakoe Club where the players will improve their physical part of the game. Kenya play a very physical game hence the need to ensure the players are extremely fit.”
He also said the Lesotho Football Association was trying to arrange a friendly match against Mozambique and Botswana before the Kenya clash.
The coach also reassured the nation that talented utility player, Bokang Mothoana, had recovered from injury and would start training with the team this weekend.
“The doctors had given him 10 days to rest, but I’m confident he will be ready to start training with the rest of the squad beginning Saturday.”
Tšotleho, who impressed against Liberia at Setsoto, told the Lesotho Times from his US base he was looking forward to the Kenya clash.
“I was happy to finally play for my country and I’m also looking forward to the match against Kenya,” Tšotleho said.
“I was not very happy with my performance in my first match against Liberia, but I was excited that we achieved
what we wanted at the end of the day,” he said.
“I’m back here in the US with my team and have been working very hard. I will be back in Lesotho early next month to join the rest of the squad for the match against Kenya,” said the left-footed forward.