National team interim coach Seephephe Matete still believes his charges can beat Botswana and reach the next round of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) Southern Zone qualifiers.
After a first-leg goalless draw at Setsoto Stadium a fortnight ago, the two old enemies meet again on Sunday in the return fixture in Gaborone and Matete insists Likuena—as the national football team is popularly known—would be progressing at the hosts’ expense.
Likuena left for Botswana yesterday and Matete vowed to ensure the team atones for its recent disappointing results.
“All the players who were part of the first leg match against Botswana are available save for three (Tšoanelo Koetle, Motlalepula Mofolo, and Tumelong Khutlang) who did not report for camp on Sunday as expected,” Matete said.
“What I can tell the nation with confidence is that my troops are determined to go to war against Botswana in the return leg. I expect it to be a very physical game but we are ready to face and beat them in their own home.”
Matete emphasised the importance of discipline among the squad, hence his decision to drop the three star-players.
“I have said it before and I will say it again: there is no place for indiscipline in this team. Players have got to respect the national team and should always remember that wearing national colours is a privilege which should never be taken for granted.
“And like I have said before, no player is bigger than the national team and this decision to drop the three is to teach them the importance of respect wherever they go,” said Matete.
“The door is not totally closed for them as far as the national team is concerned; they have already apologised which is a sign of remorse. “But what we are trying to do is let them know that they should behave like role-models and also prepare them for manhood.
“Coming back to the weekend game, I’m very positive that we will beat Botswana in their own backyard because we have realised our flaws and worked on them.”
The Likuena mentor said he had called-up Thabiso Seakhoa, Mafa Moremoholo and Kefuoe Mahula as replacements for the axed trio while star-striker, Thapelo Tale, is back after missing last month’s Africa Cup of Nations match away against Ethiopia and the first-leg fixture versus Botswana’s Zebras due to injury.
The trio were part of the ‘B’ team that impressed in a friendly against South Africa in May this year.
“This is positive news to have Tale back in training as we need every player for the second leg match against Botswana,” Matete said.
“We are preparing our players mentally and physical as the match could even go to penalties and we have to be prepared for such an eventuality.
“The most important thing will be to get a goal which will make things very difficult for the home side as they failed to score here in Lesotho and we can even win the match on the away goals rule,” he said.
Meanwhile, the veteran coach noted midfielders Bushy Moletsane and Mabuti Potloane are doubtful for the weekend match due to injury.
“The doctor will assess their progress to see if they can make the team,” he added.
Goalkeepers: Mohau Kuenane (Lioli), Kananelo Makhoaoane (Likhopo).
Defenders: Nkau Lerotholi (Matlama), Thapelo Mokhehle (Bantu), Motiki Mohale (Lerotholi Polytechnic), Mafa Moremoholo (Lioli), Jerry Kamele (Lioli).
Midfielders: Bokang Mothoana (Likhopo), Thabiso Mohapi (Bantu), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu), Kefuoe Mahula (Matlama), Bushy Moletsane (Lioli), Jane Thabantšo (Matlama), Mabuti Potloane (Matlama).
Strikers: Thapelo Tale (Likhopo), Thabo Seakhoa (LCS), Litšepe Marabe (Bantu), Nkoto Masoabi (Lioli), Thabiso Brown (Kick4Life).