Likuena open COSAFA campaign against Seychelles


MASERU – Likuena begin their COSAFA Cup campaign against the Seychelles at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha, South Africa, today. Likuena coach Leslie Notsi said they are taking the 2024 COSAFA Cup very seriously and will not underestimate the Seychelles in their opening match of Group C this afternoon.

Likuena enter today’s match following mixed fortunes in the recent 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, where they beat Zimbabwe 2-0 but lost 1-0 to Rwanda.

Notsi said his team has since shifted focus to the regional showpiece, and winning the Seychelles match is crucial to intensifying their chances of advancing to the knockout stage of the tournament.

He said Likuena had a brief rest after the World Cup qualifiers. “We took only three days to rest before we started preparation for the COSAFA Cup,” Notsi said in an interview on Monday. “There are no new players. All of them were part of last year’s AFCON Qualifiers and the recent World Cup Qualifiers.”

Notsi further stated: “We take this tournament very seriously for our growth as Likuena, especially after reaching the final last year. The expectation of Basotho is very high, and we must not take the COSAFA Cup games for granted.”

Regarding the Seychelles match, Notsi described them as the most aggressive team to play against. “Seychelles have physically strong players who rely on aerial balls and are quite aggressive,” he said. However, Notsi is confident in their game plan for the match against Seychelles.

“We have planned well for them because we need to do well against them to enhance our chances of proceeding to the next stage of the competition,” he said.

“We are not going to underestimate them. We played against them in the AFCON preliminary rounds last year and beat them, but it was not easy.” Notsi added that it is time for Likuena to gel as a team, highlighting the improvement in their defensive line, which has led to conceding fewer goals.

“I think as Likuena, we must now show growth within ourselves after we have minimised the degree to which we used to concede goals. Our team is now better in terms of conceding goals,” he said.

“Now we need to improve our scoring abilities, especially as we go into the tournament, because to proceed to the next stage, we need to score goals.”

Likuena’s next COSAFA Cup match will be against Namibia at Wolfson Stadium next Monday, before wrapping up their Group C fixture against Angola at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday. Kick-off for all of Likuena’s matches is at 3:00 pm.