LIKUENA coach Moses Maliehe has exhorted his charges to prove their worth in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cape Verde at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday.
The Likuena mentor feels his side have a good chance of qualifying for the competition to be staged in Cameroon if they continue where they left off at the COSAFA Cup in June. The side were hailed for stellar performances in the regional competition where they came third.
Lesotho have a point after a 1-1 draw away to Tanzania in their opening match of the qualifiers in June last year.
He said their preparations have gone well as they have played two friendlies against eSwatini last week. They have also played against local premiership sides and also Bloemfontein Celtic from neighbouring South Africa.
“Our preparations have gone well playing practice matches against local premiership teams as well as Bloemfontein Celtic,” Maliehe said.
“It has helped us a lot to try our combinations especially with our foreign based players who joined the team at the weekend.
“It was also important that we assessed the fitness levels of the players who will be key in the game. We also have to be strong mentally. There are loopholes here and there that we have to work at but I am confident that we will work on them in the week leading to the game.”
The Likuena coach said the trio of Basia Makepe, Likano Mphuthi and captain Mafa Moremoholo who are all nursing knocks are improving well.
“Moremoholo is much better because he played in our final practice match against Matlama but Makepe and Mphuthi sat out of the game. However, I am happy that they have both improved immensely.
“We are confident that all the players will be fit when we get to the day of the match. As you know, our team has performed badly at home but it has to change with this game.
“We need Basotho to come in their numbers and help us achieve our dream of playing in the Africa Cup of Nations. We played well in the COSAFA Cup and winning the Sunday game will give us the best chance to qualify for AFCON.
“I have confidence in the players but I have emphasised to them to perform even better than they did at the COSAFA tournament since Cape Verde are even stronger than Tanzania with who we drew.
“We have to rise to the occasion and do our country proud. We have to build on the results we got in the first match against Tanzania. This is our chance to qualify for AFCON,” Maliehe said.
Lesotho is in Group L along with Cape Verde, Tanzania and Uganda. The Cranes of Uganda are topping the group with three points while Likuena and Tanzania each have a point and Cape Verde are at the bottom without a point after losing their first match against Uganda last year.
Likuena final squad for Cape Verde:
GOALKEEPERS: Mohau Koenane(free agent),Sam Khetsekile(LCS), Likano Mphuthi(LDF).
DEFENDERS: Mafa Moremoholo(Lioli), Bokang Sello(Bantu), Nkau Lerotholi(LMPS FC), Kopano Tseka(Lioli), Basia Makepe(LMPS FC).
MIDFIELDERS :Tšepo Toloane(LDF), Tshwarelo Bereng(Black Leopards SA), Hlompho Kalake(Bantu FC), Jane Thabantšo(Matlama FC), Luciano Matsoso(Black Leopards SA), Thabo Seakhoa(LCS), Tumelo Khutlang (Black Leopards SA), Setho Moshoeshoe(LCS), Mabuti Potloane(Matlama FC), Tšotleho Jane(Free agent).
STRIKERS: Motebang Sera(Matlama FC), Nkoto Masoabi(Real Kings SA).