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Acid test for Lesotho in 2022 COSAFA Cup


…as draw is announced

Chris Theko

June 14, 2022

Lesotho will battle it up with other sub-regional countries during this year’s Confederation’s of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) Cup after the draw for the July 5-17 competition was conducted at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in host city Durban in South Africa today.

Likuena has been drawn in group B against Malawi, Mauritius and eSwatini while Group A is made up of Angola, Comoros, Seychelles and Botswana in what is likely to be a hotly contested Pool 1.

Only the top team in each group will advance to the quarterfinals, making it a fierce battle for a place in the knockout stages.

This will be a tricky test for Likuena Coach, Vaselin Jelusic to guide his team out of the group stages to the knockout stages.

The winners of the quarterfinals will advance to the semi-final round, while the losers will drop into the Plate competition and ensure they do have further matches to fine-tune for the upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) and the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Lesotho has never won the COSAFA cup but played in the final in 2000 where it lost by a 0-6 on-aggregate score to Zimbabwe.

In recent times, Lesotho has not had a lot of success in the competition and will definitely be looking to change fortunes.

The teams of 2017, 2018 and of 2019 all made it to the semi-finals but narrowly lost on each occasion. The first two ended in defeat to Zimbabwe (3-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw),and 1-2 to Botswana in 2019.

Durban will host the competition for the second time having been the stage for the 2019 edition which was won by Zambia against Botswana.

Meanwhile, lone neighbours and defending Champions South Africa will take on Mozambique in the quarterfinals of the tournament in which the winner will face winners from Group B.

The regional showpiece tournament sees West African guest nation Senegal return for a second year in a row after they finished runners up behind South Africa in 2021, and will this time take on the winners of the first round Group B in which Lesotho are favourites.

Madagascar will face the Brave Warriors of Namibia in the third of the quarterfinals, while five-time winners Zambia tackle the winner of group A.   With the 2020 edition of the COSAFA Cup not taking place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition was exciting with a lot of the teams looking to recover. Lesotho was not fortunate enough under then Coach Thabo Senong suffering two defeats against eSwatini (3-2) and 0-4 against South Africa. They managed to secure just one win against Zambia with a 2-1 scoreline before losing their last game against the Zebras of by Botswana 0-4.

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