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Likuena go down to Togo

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: [email protected] Advertising: [email protected] Telephone: +266 2231 5356

Leemisa Thuseho

NATIONAL team, Likuena, suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Togo in an international friendly game at Sturrock Park Stadium in Johannesburg yesterday.

The match, which was played behind closed doors with no spectators, saw Likuena coach, Veselin Jelušić, starting with an experienced first eleven with two foreign based players, Katleho Makateng and Motebang Sera, leading the Lesotho attack.

Sera currently plays for South Africa’s DStv Premiership side, Royal AM, while Makateng also plays in the same league but for Richards Bay.

Jelušić’s first eleven defence consisted of Rethabile Senkoto, Rethabile Rasethuntša, Kopano Tseka and captain Basia Makepe.

Midfielders Lisema Lebokollane, Neo Mokhachane, Thabo Mafatle and Tswarelo Bereng were also part of the starting eleven.

Likuena conceded the two goals in the first half. The goals were scored by Evra Agbango and Kevin Denkey for Togo.

At half time, Jelušić opted for fresh legs and introduced Jane Thabants’o, Thabang Malane and Retšelisitsoe Mopeli for Sera, Makateng and Bereng.

In attempt to get the goals, he later sacrificed Mokhachane and Mafatle for Ts’epang Sefali and Ts’epo Toloane. The last substitution had Koenehelo Mothala replace Lebokollane.

Despite the changes there were no goals scored until the final whistle.

Yesterday’s match was the first ever international meeting between the two countries.

The friendly was meant to help the two nations prepare for their respective upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers matches this weekend.

Likuena will on Saturday play hosts to Comoros in the AFCON qualifiers Group H clash at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, South Africa.

Togo will take on eSwatini in a Group B duel at Mbombela Stadium, in Mpumalanga, on 18 June 2023.

Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) said even though yesterday’s results were not on the side of Likuena, they believe that playing against Togo was a good test for the Lesotho side.

“Results were not on our side but that was a good test for Likuena against a very good Togo side,” Mikia Kalati, the LeFA media officer said after the game.

“We rarely play friendly matches against West African countries and despite the results there were some improvement in the way we played as compared to previous games.”

After the weekend game against Comoros, Likuena will turn focus to the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Cup to be played in Durban from 5 to 6 July 2023.