sports

Jan. 27, 2022

STAFF REPORTER

2 min read

Maliehe still believes in Likuena

Maliehe still believes in Likuena

Former Likuena head coach, Moses Maliehe

Story highlights

  • The former head coach feels that Lesotho still have the upper hand over the Islanders
  • But he is concerned with the recent struggles that will see Lesotho begin the qualifiers in the preliminary stage

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FORMER Likuena head coach, Moses Maliehe is confident that the national team will get past Seychelles when the two sides go head-to-head in the preliminary round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in March.

Likuena were drawn against the Islanders in last Friday’s preliminary draw for the prestigious continental tournament scheduled for Ivory Coast in 2023.

Maliehe, who oversaw Likuena’s last two matches against Seychelles in 2016, feels that Lesotho still have the upper hand over the Islanders despite going down in the FIFA rankings over the last year.

“We played back-to-back matches against them after we assembled a very young team that had the likes of Thabiso Brown, Tumelo Khutlang and others,” Maliehe explained.

“I believe we gave a good account of ourselves in both matches having lost the away game and winning here at home. That was the foundation of our team that went on to reach the quarterfinals of the COSAFA Cup in 2016, in Namibia with a lot of milestones.

“We finished the group stage unbeaten, with Jane Thabantšo scoring the fastest goal in the history of the COSAFA Cup.”

Maliehe feels Likuena still have the upper hand over Seychelles when he compares the two countries, but is concerned with the recent struggles that will see Lesotho begin the qualifiers in the preliminary for the first time after years of getting an early shower at the group stages.

“Of course, it’s a concern that we now have to start in the preliminaries as our team had grown up in the rankings and had been getting a bye to start in the group stage,” said the former national squad mentor.

“What I remember about Seychelles is that they can be very tricky in their backyard. They are speedy and dangerous on counterattack.

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“They gave us a lot of problems in the away game because we went there with a young team lacking international experience, but it was different when we hosted them here at Setsoto stadium because we won the match comfortably. They are an average team that we should easily beat.”

President of the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA), King’s Counsel (KC) Salemane Phafane recently told a media briefing that Likuena were likely to host their international matches outside the country as Setsoto Stadium had been suspended by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF).

The Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation has since responded by informing the media that the ministry does not at this stage have funds to complete renovations that started before the country hosted the Region 5 AUSC Games.

In the current issue of Metro print edition, in the same story, ran on Page 15, we mentioned that Coach Moses Maliehe is re-joining Likuena. That is incorrect and we wish to apologise to the football family and all our readers for that mistake. The Editor

 

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