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COSAFA bounce back for Mehalalitoe

Business

Chris Theko

The national women’s senior football team, Mehalalitoe, will return to the Confederation of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) women’s championship this year after missing the 2021 competition.

Mehalalitoe was withdrawn from international and regional competitions last year by the country’s football governing body, Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) citing bad performance in the past competitions.

LeFA National Executive Committee (NEC) made the decision to not enroll Mehalalitoe in the competition last year basing itself on the bad performance which the team displayed in the 2020 edition.

During the 2020 edition, the team was humiliated 8-0 by Zimbabwe in their first game before facing more humiliation in a 9-0 thumping by a ruthless Malawian side in the second game.

After a year of what the association said was to build the team while focusing more on the development of women football in the country, Mehalalitoe will get a chance to test their credentials against the region’s powerhouses.

In a draw that was conducted on Saturday, Lesotho was placed in group B against eSwatini, Zambia, and Namibia in the tournament that is now known as the Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup.

The tournament will be staged in Port Elizabeth from August 31 to September 11.

Their first task will be to get passed eSwatini at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on the first day of the tournament, the second and third matches of Group B will be against Zambia and Namibia on September 4and 6respectively.

The top teams in each group will advance to the semi-finals along with the best placed runner up from the three groups.

Group A is made up of South Africa, Angola, Mauritius and Mozambique while Group C is made up of Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania and Comoros.

Mehalalitoe has been hard at work since April and their coach, Pule Khojane, who will be handling his maiden international tournament since his appointment, stated that he is looking forward to the regional tournament. 

“The mood at the camp is a bit tense, beautiful and emotional at the same time. I realized that the players are thinking too deep about it,” Pule explained.

“This is an opportunity that we have been working towards. We really want to make a difference and with God, a lot will happen as we have been trying to prepare the team mentally and physically.”

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