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Likuena ready up for AFCON test

Business

Chris Theko

Kick4Life midfielder Mokoteli Mohapi has been given his debut call-up to the senior national team ranks by the Likuena head coach Thabo Senong when he announced his provisional squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Nigeria and Sierra Leone next month. 

Likuena will play Sierra Leon at Setsoto stadium on 22 March 2021 and conclude their group L campaign with a trip to North Africa where they will face Nigeria in Lagos on 30 March 2021. 

If Likuena is to make it to the AFCON finals in Cameroon next year, they have to win all the remaining matches. 

Announcing his squad on Friday, coach Senong said the technical team is very much aware that the selected need match fitness.

He said they are going to have to come up with an ideal training technique that will help build the players’ confidence for these two remaining ties. 

From the squad that took on Benin in the back-to-back match fixtures in November 2020, Senong has introduced to his provisional squad, Mohapi alongside Bolivian-based striker Thabiso Brown, United States-based defender, Thetsane Lesia and South African TS Sporting’s Tšoarelo Bereng.

Mohapi said he is very happy that finally his work rate and commitment on and off the field of football has attracted the coach’s attention. 

“I am very happy; this is a huge thing for me. Every player looks forward to such a moment in their playing career and I am not different,” Mohapi said. 

The talented former Makoanyane XI attacking midfielder expressed his wish to also make it to the final squad citing that that would really make him happier.

“I have to now prove to the coach that he did not make a mistake when he called me up, I am going to continue with my hard-work and commitment so that I make it to the match-day 11” he said.

Lesotho currently lingers at the bottom of group L with two points from four matches behind third-placed Sierra Leone with Benin and Nigeria occupying second and first spots respectively.

Meanwhile, Senong thanked the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) for immediately allowing the team to start preparations. 

“We are mindful that the core of the squad lacks match fitness so we will come up with a training methodology which will help them get into the two matches with confidence and concentration,” Senong said. 

Senong said his squad selection was motivated by the team’s needs, tactical flexibility and professionalism of the players. 

“We looked at some aspects of our game plan including the tactical flexibility of players at our disposal, players able to play two or more positions and those who can bring the right chemistry into the setup.

“We also looked at our style against our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses so that we play with pride,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, LeFA Secretary-General Mokhosi Mohapi said the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) has approved their request for the team to start training since sporting activities are still banned due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. 

“On 7 February 2021, the LeFA National Executive Committee (NEC) approved the proposal for Likuena to start training in preparation of the upcoming AFCON qualifiers between Nigeria and Sierra Leone,”

Mohapi announced on Tuesday morning that the proposal which was then submitted to NACOSEC was approved and Likuena would resume training from Wednesday upon completion of Covid-19 tests. 

Likuena Provisional squad:

Goalkeepers

Ntsane Lichaba 

Sekhoane Moerane

Monaheng Ramalefane

Defenders

Nkau Lerotholi

Motlomelo Mkwanazi

Basia Makepe

Lisema Lebokollane

Bokang Sello

Thabang Malane

Lesia Thetsane

Midfielders

Masiu Tau

TÅ¡epo Toloane

TÅ¡oarelo Bereng

Thabo Lesaoana

Thabo Matšoele

Mokoteli Mohapi

Tumelo Ngatane

Lehlohonolo Fothoane

Litšepe Marabe

Neo Mokhachane

Tumelo Khutlang

Jane Thabantšo

Jane TÅ¡otleho

Hlompho Kalake

Luciano Matsoso

Strikers

TÅ¡epo Seturumane

Nkoto Masoabi

Motebang Sera

Morapeli Lesoetsa

Thabiso Brown

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