Matete wary of Algeria

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Likuena vs BotswanaMikia Kalati

National team interim coach, Seephephe Matete, is looking forward to next month’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Algeria.

Lesotho host the Algerians on 6 September as the team continues its quest for a place at the 2017 AFCON tournament to be hosted by Gabon.

After narrowly losing 2-1 to Ethiopia in the first match of their Group J qualifier played away in June this year, Matete’s charges need to be at their best to prevail over the Desert Foxes, who thrashed the Seychelles 4-0 in their opening home fixture also played in June.

According to Matete, the team reported for full camp on Tuesday this week and would be released on Fridays to join their clubs for league matches. Matete also announced the return of  Tšepo Seturumane, who missed the Ethiopia tie as he was undergoing police training at the time.

The talented forward, who now plays for LMPS after completing a loan move from Lioli last week, announced his return to action with a goal in the police outfit’s 2-0 win over Bantu on Sunday.

Matete on Tuesday told the Lesotho Times: “We have recalled Tšepo Seturumane to the national team and will be assessing his level of fitness before this very important match against Algeria.

“This is the number one-ranked team in Africa, so we will have to be at our best when we face them; our concentration would have to be faultless if we are to contain Algeria. We will be at home in this first-leg match, so we must play well because the crowd will be behind us. I believe a draw will be a very good result against a team of this calibre.

“We can even surprise them if we play really well and frustrate them. But the most important thing is to play according to our strength and build on the unlucky loss we suffered against Ethiopia in the opening game of the qualifiers.”

Matete has meanwhile, lamented the absence from the team, of veteran midfielder Bushy Moletsane and attacking midfielder Mabuti Potloane. The two key players have not played competitively since getting injured in the 2-1 loss to Ethiopia on 14 June.

“The two are still out but could be ready for our next matches in October against the Comoros and Zimbabwe,” Matete.

Lesotho play the Comoros in a 2018 World Cup preliminary qualifier and Zimbabwe in the last qualifier of the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

“It’s going to be a tough October for us so we must have a big squad and good preparations for these games.”

Likuena squad

Goalkeepers: Mohau Kuenane (Lioli), Kananelo Makhoaoane (Lioli), Daniel Joussse (LCS).

Defenders: Nkau Lerotholi (Matlama), Thapelo Mokhehle (Bantu), Motiki Mohale (Lerotholi Polytechnic), Mafa Moremoholo (Lioli),  Jerry Kamele (Lioli), Poloko Mohale (LCS).

Midfielders: Bokang Mothoana (Likhopo), Thabiso Mohapi (Bantu), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu), Kefuoe Mahula (Matlama), Jane Thabantšo (Matlama), Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli), Tšepo Seturumane (LMPS).

Strikers: Thapelo Tale (Likhopo), Thabo Seakhoa (LCS), Litšepe Marabe (Bantu), Nkoto Masoabi (Lioli), Thabiso Brown (Kick4Life).

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