MASERU – The Likuena technical team is yet to decide on warm up games for the upcoming COSAFA Cup to be held in Durban, South Africa from tomorrow until June 8.
Likuena face the Cranes of Uganda in the quarter-finals of the tournament on June 1.
This is after the Lesotho side has once again secured passage to the quarter-finals after winning bronze at last year’s COSAFA Cup edition.
The East African team beat Lesotho in their two previous encounters back-to-back in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, 3-0 at home and 2-0 away, in October last year.
Likuena, however, go to this year’s COSAFA Cup with a beefed-up technical team that includes the appointment of former Bloemfontein Celtic defender and Bantu head coach, James Madidilane and former Uganda goalkeeper, Posnet Omony.
Madidilane has been appointed Likuena’s second assistant coach, with Mpitsa Marai and Moses Maliehe still serving as the team’s first assistant coach and head coach respectively.
Omony, who is also part of the Bantu FC technical team, has replaced Shokhoe Matsoai as Likuena’s new goalkeepers’ coach.
According to the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) media officer, Mikia Kalati, Likuena began preparing for the COSAFA Cup a fortnight ago and the team is expected to start camping from next Monday.
Kalati said the team’s preparation was boosted by the arrival of the South Africa’s Absa Premiership side, Black Leopards’ trio of Tumelo ‘Khutlang’ Makhopo, Tshwarelo Bereng and Luciano Matsoso on Monday.
“This is the third week since Likuena started preparing for the COSAFA Cup training for three days from Monday to Wednesday,” Kalati said in an interview with Public Eye on Monday.
He said for the past weeks, the three coaches took local players through their paces.
The first Likuena international player to arrive home for the upcoming COSAFA Cup, according to Kalati, was Lesia Thetsane from the State Fair Community College in the USA.
“Thetsane arrived home last week, while Black Leopards’ trio Khutlang, Bereng and Matsoso arrived on Monday and will join Likuena’s training session today at Setsoto Stadium,” Kalati said.
He said another South Africa-based player, Nkoto Masoabi, who plays for the National First Division (NFD) side Real Kings, was expected to arrive on Tuesday.
Kalati on Monday said Likuena’s technical team was yet to find warm-up games ahead of the COSAFA Cup.
“Likuena coaches are still looking for friendly games but they are not easy to get as football seasons have just ended and national teams in different Southern African countries have just started preparing for the COSAFA Cup,” he said.
He showed that Likuena coach Maliehe was yet to select his final 19-man team from a-23-man provisional squad.