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‘We wanted more than bronze’

by Lesotho Times
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Mikia Kalati

VETERAN Likuena midfielder Mabuti Potloane says while they are happy with the bronze medal that they got, their goal was to bring the COSAFA Cup home.

Likuena had to settle for a bronze medal after suffering penalty heartbreak to Zimbabwe who eventually won the competition on Saturday after a 4-2 win over Zambia.

Potloane played his fifth edition of the tournament this year having first participated in 2013 in Zambia where he mostly came from the bench.

The former Premier League player of the season, now on the books of Matlama also featured in the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of the tournament.

“It is an achievement to come back with a bronze medal but that was not our goal,” Potloane said.

“Our target was to go all the way to the final and win the competition. That is what we wanted.”

However, Potloane said getting a bronze medal was still worth celebrating as it came after a long wait for Lesotho.

The midfielder made his name at his childhood club and has been a regular since 2009. He however, moved to Matlama three seasons ago.

Potloane said their focus has now shifted to the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 qualifiers.

Lesotho host Cape Verde in September this year having started their campaign of the continental competition with a 1-1 draw away to Tanzania last year.

He said there is a strong belief among the players that this finally the time that the side qualifies for the continental showcase.

“We feel we have grown enough to improve what we achieved at the COSAFA Cup by qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations. We have matured as a team and it is a goal that every team member is striving for.

“We believe that we have gathered enough experience to give it a try and continue where we left off when we played Tanzania away last year.

“The group is wide open and the fact that two teams will qualify from each group makes it even better for us,” he said.

Potloane also said winning the bronze medal at COSAFA was an achievement that he will always cherish. Despite his glittering career, silverware has been elusive as he has only won the LNIG Top 8 with Matlama this season.

“It is a great feeling that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It is a very proud moment for anyone to reap the rewards of doing what one likes.

“I am really grateful and will cherish this moment for the rest of my life. The biggest joy for me will however, come in the form of me helping the team to qualify for the continental competition,” Potloane.

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Lesotho’s widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. 

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