MASERU — South Africa will be itching for revenge when they meet Lesotho — their conquerors in a continental qualifier — at a regional Under-20 tournament in Botswana next month.
The two sides are in Group B, also including Namibia, in this year’s Metropolitan Cosafa Cup.
The tournament will run from December 3 to 17.
It comes nearly four months after Makonyane XI sent South Africa’s Amajita packing from the African Youth Championships qualifiers.
Makoanyane XI went on to book a place at the continental tournament after beating Kenya in the last qualifying round.
Amajita coach Khabo Zondo was this week quoted in the South African media as vowing to “revenge the defeat we suffered against Lesotho when we meet again in Gaborone at the Metropolitan Cosafa Cup”.
However, Makoanyane IX coach Leslie Notsi told the Lesotho Times Zondo’s vow would help psych up his charges.
“What I can say regarding Khabo’s comments is that we are looking forward to beating them again,” he said.
“We are taking his vows to defeat us positively because it will motivate our players to fight for a third consecutive win against South Africa.”
Notsi said the regional tournament will be crucial in preparing Makoanyane XI for the African Youth Championships in Libya next March.
“We are looking beyond the Metropolitan Cosafa Cup as a nation. We will take the match against South Africa as part of our preparations,” he said.
“That will boost our morale as we prepare for the Libya tournament.”
Notsi said they were not only looking forward to beating South Africa but winning the Under-20s tournament in Botswana too.
“This will be a motivation to our players,” he said.
“Our intention is to have the toughest preparation games that will bring the best out of our players.”
Makoanyane XI will start training on Monday to prepare for the Botswana trip.