Maseru – Lesotho’s senior soccer squad head coach Mr. Moses Maliehe says he is not worried by the comments made by eSwatini (Swaziland), who are Likuena’s first opponents at the 2018 regional Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) Cup.
One of Swaziland’s oldest players Wonder Nhleko, 37, has been reported by the South African media as having said the players will be going all out to claim the COSAFA 2018 championship currently ongoing in Limpopo, South Africa after winning the bronze medal last year.
When approached for comment, Mr. Maliehe said he has not bothered with his opponents comments, saying they will respond to the comments on the field of play on Saturday. Likuena will face off with Isihlanu Semnikati in the quarterfinals of the COSAFA Cup to be played at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Likuena head coach said any team going to the COSAFA Cup could say a lot of things including Nhleko’s comment that “they want to win the tournament”.
“We are well prepared for them and we know what to expect from Sihlangu as they have good individual players, especially up front. But at the back, they are weak and that is where we will exploit them,” he highlighted.
Mr. Maliehe said Nhleko’s comments are based on Mbabane Swallows’ (his club) good run in the CAF Champions League where they are playing in the group stages of the competition, saying the club football is different from national team one.
He said Mbabane Swallows have good foreign defenders who are not going to feature for the national team.
The coach also noted eSwatini’s higher FIFA Ranking compared with Lesotho. Likuena 19 places below Swaziland. However, Mr. Maliehe said rankings are just mere numbers that do not detect what happens on the field of play – come Saturday.
Likuena leave by road for Limpopo on today (Thursday) morning and will have their first training session on Friday morning. Lesotho will have to quickly adjust to the Limpopo weather conditions as they come from a cold and high altitude country.
The boys from the Mountain kingdom will have to better their previous COSAFA Cup performances in which they only managed to claim the Fair Play award – three consecutive times. Lena