UNITED States (US) based, Lesia Thetsane, says making a debut for Likuena in the 1-0 win over eSwatini last weekend was a dream come true.
The former Kick4Life player won his first cap at the ongoing COSAFA Cup that is being hosted by South Africa in Limpopo Province.
The 19-year old left-back said he did not expect to start the match having been added to the squad just a few days before the team left the regional competition.
Thetsane was thrown into the deep end starting ahead of more experienced Bokang Sello in the left-back position. He however, did well against the attacking trio of Wonder Nhleko, Felix Badenhorst and Tony Tsabedze, who each have over 10 years of continental football.
Thetsane left the country in 2016 along with then Kick4Life teammate, ‘Mako Makoanyane, on a football and academic scholarship at Fair State Community College in the US.
The defender admitted that he developed goose bumps once he learnt that he was scheduled to start the match against eSwatini but said the nerves settled just before the match.
“It was a proud moment for me but I believe that I will do even better once I get to know my teammates well and jell with them,” Thetsane said.
“I was surprised when I learnt that I was in the starting line-up. It never crossed my mind that I would be capped in this competition.”
The defender said the support and motivation he got from his more experienced teammates helped him during the game.
To cap it all, he also registered an assist in the game when he set up substitute, Motebang Sera who scored the solitary goal.
“It is a great experience for me especially because the senior players are supportive. They have encouraged me throughout and that has helped me settle.
“I am grateful for the chance to play for my country and I thank the coaches for this call-up. It is a dream come true for any player to play for his/her national team and I will cherish this all my life,” he said.
Coach Moses Maliehe said he was impressed with the hard work and bravery exhibited by the player when he was tasked with starting the match.
“I was impressed with what I saw from him from the day that he joined our training camp. He has the right attitude and plays with confidence which compelled me to give him a chance despite this being his first call-up.
“He will get even better with time but we are all happy with how he played against eSwatini,” Maliehe said.