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Likuena cranks up World Cup preparations

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KamoheloMakhofola                                                                                                                                                                                The national team, Likuena, is set to embark on a crucial phase of preparations for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifier matches with a series of friendly encounters against Ethiopia.

The team is scheduled to begin their training camp at the Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena on March 17 before departing for Ethiopia on March 19.

Likuena will square off against Walia Ibex in two friendly matches slated for March 21 and 24.

These matches hold significant importance for both teams as they fine-tune their strategies and assess their readiness for the impending World Cup qualifiers.

Having garnered two points from their initial two matches in Group C, courtesy of draws against Nigeria and Benin, Lesotho is keen to build upon this solid start.

Looking ahead, Likuena will face off against Zimbabwe and Rwanda in back-to-back matches scheduled for June this year.

Head coach Leslie Notši has unveiled the squad set to represent the nation in the upcoming two friendly matches.

Notši emphasised that his selection process for Likuena players was inclusive, with any player demonstrating outstanding performance being considered for the national team.

During a recent media briefing, Notši expressed his belief in the positive impact of international matches on both the team and players’ mental well-being.

“We are looking forward to these two matches as an opportunity to grow and improve ourselves for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers,” he said.

Notši also acknowledged Likuena’s recent rise in the FIFA rankings, climbing five places to their current position of 148th out of 211 FIFA members.

He expressed confidence that participating in these international matches would provide valuable experience for the team, further contributing to their development and success on the global stage.

A notable new face in the Likuena squad is Majara Relebeletsoe, who will be making his first international appearance, while Ntsane Mojalefa has played in preparation for the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) tournament.

Here is the complete list of selected players to face Ethiopia:

Goalkeepers:

Sekhoane Moerane of Orbit FC in South Africa,

Teboho Ratibisi (LDF FC)

Mosoeu Seahlolo (LCS FC)

Defenders:

Motlomelo Mkwanazi (BDF FC)

Rethabile Rasethuntša (Linare FC)

Fusi Matlabe (Mpheni Defenders (SA))

Thato Sefoli (Upington City (SA))

Majara Relebetsoe (Tubatse FC (SA))

Thabo Matsoele (Bantu FC)

Ntsane Mojalefa (Celtics (SA))

Midfielders:

Lisema Lebokollane (Linare FC)

Lehlohonolo Matsau (LDF FC)

Thabo Lesaoana (Bantu FC)

Tlotliso Phatsisi (Black Leopards (SA))

Tshoarelo Bereng (Orbit FC (SA))

Tšepo Toloane (LDF FC)

Lehlohonolo Fothoane (Bantu FC)

Neo Mokhachane (VTM (Botswana))

Tumelo Khutlang (Lioli FC)

Tšepang Sefali (Linare FC)

Strikers:

Jane Thabantšo (Matlama FC)

Sera Motebang (Royal AM (SA))

Katleho Makateng (Richards Bay (SA))

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