Tale gets Likuena call-up
LIKUENA coach Moses Maliehe has named veteran striker Thapelo Tale in the squad that will face Uganda in back-to-back 2019 Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifiers later this month.
Tale, who has not been part of the team for over a year, is the noticeable change from the team that drew 1-1 with against Cape Verde in September.
The speedy striker was part of the squad that also drew 1-1 with Tanzania in their first Group L match in June 2017.
He has got his groove back playing at LCS since last season.
The East African country will host Lesotho at Mandela National Stadium in Kampala on 13 October and the two countries face off again three days later at Setsoto Stadium.
Uganda are at the summit of Group L with four points after two games and are followed by Likuena, who have two points.
“We have been preparing since the Cap Verde game,” Maliehe said.
“However, we only have locally based players while foreign based personnel are expected to join us next week.”
Maliehe said the team would leave the country two days before the game and said he has kept faith in majority of the players who played in the last match of the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Bantu left-back Bokang Sello will miss the game due to suspension having accumulated two yellow cards.
“We have not made any major changes, I think the only new face is that of Thapelo Tale, who brings a lot of experience into the squad while Sello has two yellow cards and is not available for the game,” Maliehe told this publication.
“Tale has played in such games before and we feel that his experience will be useful to the team.”
Maliehe admitted that he is having a headache to have the replacement as American based, Lesia Thetsane, who was the first choice in the position at the COSAFA Cup is also unavailable for selection due to academic commitments.
“It’s a headache at the moment that Sello is not available for this game as Thetsane will also not come like it was the case against Cape Verde. It’s a big of a problem but we will surely find answers from the available players,” he said.
He also confirmed that goalkeeper, Mohau Kuenane, who is unattached at the moment will also keep his place in the team as one of the three goalkeepers for the two games with Uganda.
Kuenane recently returned to the national team set-up after a three-year absence and competes with first choice, Likano Mphuthi along with another experienced goalie,Sam Ketsekile.
Maliehe said he is happy that Matlama’s Jane Thabantšo is returning to full fitness after his struggles with injuries in the last year.
“I’m happy that he is now back and playing regularly again for his team. That is an advantage for us because we need all our best players going into the game against Uganda,” Maliehe said.
The two top countries in each of the groups will qualify for the continental competition to be staged in Cameroon in 2019.