Lesotho coach reacts to COSAFA draw
Lesotho Women’s team coach Pule Khojane has reacted to the draw for the 2023 COSAFA Women’s Championship which was conducted in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Mehalalitoe, as the Lesotho Women’s team is affectionately known, have been paired in Group C alongside Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
Khojane will be heading to his second successive regional tournament having taken over the job in July 2022.
“Looking at the draw, we have Namibia, who we played against in the last year edition of the tournament,” Pule said.
“As for Botswana, we recently had a friendly match against them and probably, we know what to expect. The only team that is a closed book to us is Zimbabwe because I have not seen them play in recent years.
“We will have to find footages of their matches, but I don’t think it will help us that much unless it’s of their recent matches.”
The top team in each pool will automatically qualify for the semi-finals while the best runner-up across the three pools will also advance to the semi-finals.
“My observation is that it’s a group of teams you would say are almost at the same level and it will go down to a team that will take its chances on the field of play,” Mehalalitoe coach stated.
“Yes, Botswana has the experience as they recently played at Wafcon. I don’t think they are that far from us. They have a few individuals that can win them matches, but we can contain them.
“Namibia as well has that one player that can give you problems, but all in all I think we are at the same level. That makes the group very difficult, every game is like a final, its all about the points to get to the next phase of the tournament,” he said.
The Lesotho coach said each of their three opponents deserves to be respected and cannot underestimate any of them.
“It’s a balanced group that at the same time I can say, its fair group, which I think its not easy to put your head on the block and say, this team will win the group like last year when Zambia were the favourites,” Khojane said.
“We will have to work very hard to succeed and we cannot underestimate any of our opponents because they are all quality teams,” he said.
Lesotho will open their campaign in Group C against Zimbabwe on October 6 to be followed by the second match against Botswana on October 9th, while their final game of the group stage will be against Namibia on October 11th.