Likuena coach Thabo Senong is confident his side will rise to the occasion for their final 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Nigeria despite losing several of his key players to injuries.
Lesotho welcome the Leone Stars in Maseru on Saturday and will immediately jet out of the country for their Tuesday clash with the Super Eagles to be played in Lagos. Likuena is at the bottom of Group L, but mathematically still with a chance to qualify for the continental competition to be staged in Cameroon.
Senong’s charges will play the two matches without the injured trio of Jane Thabantso, Lisema Lebokolloane and Morapeli Lesoetsa while Bolivia based Thabiso Brown and Lesia Thetsane, playing his football in the United State of America are also unavailable for the match.
“Looking at the camp, the mood and sharpness of the players, I think we have a good chance of beating Sierra Leone at home. That’s our biggest goal. I know they are going to frustrate us, but it’s also our responsibility to make sure that we create problems for them,” Senong told a media briefing.
“I must say, we were very fortunate to start early with the local based players because they had a long layoff after football activities were suspended in the country due to covid-19. Starting early helped us a lot because we needed to bring the fitness levels of our players back, which we really did.
“The players are looking fit now, but of course playing and training are two different things. We also managed to play two practice matches against South Africa clubs and the long camp has helped to improve the relationship and understanding a lot between the players.”
Likuena final squad:
Goalkeepers: Monaheng Ramalefane, Sekhoane Moerane, Ntsane Lichaba.
Defenders: Thabang Malane, Thabo Lesaoana, Basia Makepe, Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, Nkau Lerotholi, Bokang Sello, Thabo Mats’oele.
Midfielders: Tau Masiu, Tumelo Ngatane, Hlompho Kalake, Mokoteli Mohapi, Neo Mokhachane, Lits’epe Marabe, Tsepo Toloane, Lehlohonolo Fothoane.
Striker: Motebang Sera, Tumelo Khutlang, Nkoto Masoabi.