Lebina receives debut Likuena call-up


as Notsi and Mafoso take charge for next month’s COSAFA Cup


MASERU – Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS)’s formidable striker, Hlomelang Lebina has received his debut senior national team call-up, with Leslie Notsi and Atang ‘Bob’ Mafoso taking charge at Likuena, following the sacking of former coach, Veselin Jelusic this week.

According to the LeFA Media Officer, Mikia Kalati, Lebina, who is the Vodacom Premier League (VPL) joint top goal-scorer with Jane Thaba-ntšo of Matlama (with 15 goals each), is the only new face in the squad that has been assembled for the upcoming Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup to be held in Durban, South Africa, from July 5 – 16.

Thabo Lesaoana and Lehlohonolo Fothoane of Bantu, Thabiso Mari of Matlama, Letlatsa Moshoeshoe of LDF, as well as goalkeeper, Teboho Ratebisi have returned to the team after a brief absence.

“Lebina is the only player who is getting his first call-up, while the other five have been in the team before,” said Kalati in an interview with Public Eye on Wednesday. Lebina, 21, is a product of the LeFA School of Excellence Programme.

Lesaoana, who was part of the Likuena squad last year, has been recalled after an impressive performance with Bantu that saw A-Matšo-Matebele winning the league title. Kalati said Notsi, who was Jelusic’s right hand man, has since been engaged as the interim head coach with Mafoso as his assistant.

The coaches, he said, have been mandated to guide the national team to next month’s COSAFA Cup. “They have only been engaged for the upcoming COSAFA Cup,” Kalati said. He was, however, quick to admit that there is no specific mandate for the two reputable mentors.

“What is important now is to prepare the team for the COSAFA Cup and restore its reputation, and so there is no specific mandate for the two coaches.”

Apart from the fact that Notsi was Likuena’s assistant coach during Jelusic’s tenure, he is also in charge of Linare, which he joined late in the last season, replacing the South African mentor, Teboho Moloi.

Notsi, who joined Linare straight from LeFA, where he worked as a technical director, managed to guide Linare to the second position in the log table, while Mafoso helped Bantu win the league title after he joined the Mafeteng-based giants late into last season from arch-rivals, Lioli.

Jelusic parted ways with LeFA after Likuena lost 1-0 to The Comoros in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier last Saturday.

This was despite the fact that Likuena were no longer in contention as far as the upcoming AFCON Qualifiers are concerned.

Likuena have so far registered a single point from five AFCON Qualifiers, and that saw the team rooted at the bottom of Group H.

Likuena are now pitted against Mozambique, Angola, and Mauritius in Group C of the COSAFA Cup.

The squad began preparations for the COSAFA Cup on Wednesday this week.                    

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