Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Likuena visits Nigeria in tough WC opener  


Seabata Mahao

The senior national team Likuena will kick off their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign with a long trip to Nigeria on November 17 this year.

FIFA recently confirmed the dates for the first round of the qualifiers, and Likuena’s next qualifier match against Benin will be played on November 22 at home. The next round of games will be played in June 2024.

Lesotho has been drawn in a tough group C also consisting of Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Benin, and Rwanda.   

Among Likuena’s opponents, Nigeria and South Africa have played in the World Cup before, although they have never won it.

 The two opponents will undoubtedly present Likuena with the toughest tests, although Zimbabwe and the others do not have to be taken lightly.

Likuena’s interim coach Leslie NotÅ¡i has already named a provisional squad for World Cup qualifiers.  The squad consists of local-based players, and NotÅ¡i has retained the majority of the players who played against Ivory Coast in the last fixture of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

New faces in the squad include Makoanyane XI and Kick4Life FC’s winger Paseka Maile; Rasebetsane Khosholo from Ace Maseru FC, while Mohai Mohai makes a return after a long absence.

LeFA’s School of Excellence products Hlomelang Lebina and Seahlolo Mosoeu also make a return to the squad after missing out on the recent trip to Ivory Coast.

Goalkeepers: Sekhoane Moerane (LMPS FC) Seahlolo Mosoeu (LCS FC), Teboho Ratibisi (LDF FC) Rasebetsane Khosholo from ACE Maseru FC.

Defenders: Mohai Mohai (Matlama FC) Kopano Tseka (LCS FC) Thabo Matšoele (Bantu FC) Thabang Malane, Mohlomi Makhetha (both from LCS FC), Rethabile Mokokoane (Matlama FC), Rethabile Senkoto and Rethabile Rasethuntša (both from Linare FC).

Midfielders: Lisema Lebokollane, TÅ¡epang Sefali, Teboho Letsema (all from Linare FC), Lehlohonolo Fothoane, Thabo Lesaoana, Tumelo Makha (all from Bantu FC), Lepheane Mofolo, TÅ¡epo Toloane (both from of LDF FC), Khubetsoana Kamela (LMPS FC) and Paseka Maile (Kick4Life FC).

Strikers: Jane Thabantšo (Matlama FC), Tšeliso Botsane and Hlomelang Lebina.

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