… as Lesotho names a 23-man provisional squad for the upcoming event in Durban from May 25-June 8
The Crocodile, Lesotho’s nickname, have once again been given a bye and will start the competition in the quarterfinals, where they have been drawn against Uganda.
Lesotho coach Moses Maliehe said that his side has unfinished business with The Cranes, who beat them in both qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
The Lesotho squad is dominated by local players with the South African-based Black Leopards trio of Tshwarelo Bereng, Tumelo Khutlang and Luciano Matsoso among a small group of that ply their trade outside their country.
The others are Nkoto Masoabi, who plays for Real Kings in the South African National First Division and American-based defender Lesia Thetsane.
“It will be a different ball game this time around. We know that Uganda are a good side and they are likely to use the match as part of their preparations for the tournament in Egypt,” Maliehe said.
“It will be a motivation for us to get our revenge because a lot will be at stake in the tournament.”
Lesotho won bronze in the 2018 edition of the regional tournament and Maliehe feels his team has grown in leaps and bounds to go all the way to the final.
“It’s every coach’s wish to do well in every tournament and we want to do better than we did in the previous tournament,” the Lesotho coach stated.
“This year’s tournament could be a little bit tough in that we have four countries from the region that have qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and are likely to bring their strongest teams at the tournament.
“We have always kept the core of our team that played in the qualifiers a few months ago because we want to go as far as the final,” he said.
Lesotho last reached the final of the regional competition in 2000, but have picked up the bronze medal in the last two tournaments.
Lesotho preliminary squad:
Goalkeepers: Sam Ketsekile, Thabiso Lichaba, Mohaheng Ramalefane.
Defenders: Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, Basia Makepe, Nkau Lerotholi, Bokang Sello, Lesia Thetsane, John Mohai, Kopano Tseka
Midfielders: Sepiriti Malefane, Tsoanelo Koetle, Letsatsa Moshoeshoe, Tsoarelo Bereng, Tsepo Toloane, Tumelo Khutlang, Hlompho Kalake, Jane Thabants’o, Luciano Matsoso, Lehlohonolo Fothoane
Strikers: Motebang Sera, Nkoto Masoabi, Thapelo Tale