Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Moses Maliehe names Likuena squad for Algeria tie

Namibia joy to continue in Algeria?
Lesotho caretaker coach Moses Maliehe has selected a 19-man squad to face Algeria next month in the team’s final 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

It is exactly the same squad that did well in June’s COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia where Lesotho reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions South Africa on penalties. The team will once again be captained by recent LMPS recruit Basia Makepe.

Likuena’s tie against Algeria will be played on September 4 in Algiers. Likuena have already been ruled out of contention to qualify for next year’s finals in Gabon.

Lesotho is bottom of Group J with three points after five games. That qualifying spot has gone to Algeria which secured its spot at Gabon 2017 in the last round of matches.

Algeria is the top ranked team in Africa and is rated 32nd in FIFA’s world rankings. Lesotho is 47th in Africa and 146th in the world.

Lesotho squad to face Algeria
Goalkeepers: Liteboho Mokhehle (Lioli), Daniel Jousse (LCS)
Defenders: Basia Makepe (LMPS), Kopano Tseka, Bokang Sello, Mafa Moremoholo (all Lioli), Sepiriti Malefane (LCS), Nkesi Rankhasa (Matlama)
Midfielders: Jerry Kamela, Montoeli Sonopo (both Lioli), Mabuti Potloane, Jane Thaba-Ntšo, Phafa Tšosane, Kefuoe Mahula (all Matlama), Thabo Seakhoa (LCS), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu)
Strikers: Motebang Sera (Matlama), Tumelo Khutlang, Tšepo Seturumane (both Lioli)

Lesotho AFCON2017 qualifying results
Ethiopia 2-1 Lesotho (14/06/15)
Lesotho 1-3 Algeria (06/09/15)
Seychelles 2-0 Lesotho (26/03/16)
Lesotho 2-1 Seychelles (29/03/16)
Lesotho 1-2 Ethiopia (05/06/16)

Group J


Monday, August 15, 2016

Lioli snap up Thapelo Tale from Likhopo

Lioli's new front-man... Thapelo Tale
Champions Lioli have finally made a splash in the transfer market by completing the signing of Lesotho international striker Thapelo Tale from Likhopo. The 28 year-old has moved to the Teyateyaneng giants on a three-year contract and fills a need Lioli have been trying to fill since the end of last season.

With the CAF Champions League on their schedule next year, Tse Nala have been looking to strengthen their attack.

Despite winning the league last season, Lioli’s top scorer – striker Nkoto Masoabi – only scored eight goals.

Lioli chased Sundawana’s Roboama Koloti as a solution and made an offer for the Under-20 star. However, the champions were rebuffed by Sundawana’s M2 million asking price.

Lioli have also completed the signing of midfielder Setho Moshoeshoe who is returning to his childhood club after spending ten years in the United States.

The two signings bolster an already star-studded Lioli squad looking to win its third successive championship in the 2016/17 Vodacom Premier League season.

In other transfer news, Likhopo have completed the signing of Lereko Matsipa from Liphakoe.

Matsipa, who began his career at Likhopo, has re-joined the club on a free transfer.

The former Likuena international joined Liphakoe in 2014 and immediately helped the Quthing side gain promotion to the Vodacom Premier League and last season was an important contributor as Liphakoe maintained their premiership status.

The versatile Matsipa, who can play in defence or defensive midfield, won two Premier League titles with Likhopo in 2005 and 2006. Matsipa also enjoyed a successful spell with Lioli winning the title in 2009. His experience will be a valuable asset to a talented but youthful Likhopo squad.

To the Olympics and things have not gone well for Team Lesotho so far. Both of Lesotho’s boxers, Inkululeko Suntele and Moroke Mokhotho, were beaten in the first round of the boxing tournament.
Boxer Moroke Mokhotho
Suntele lost to Tunisia’s Bilel Mhamdi in the 52 kilograms flyweight class on Friday while Mokhotho was defeated by Achraf Kharroubi of Morocco on Sunday in the 56kg competition.

In athletics, Lesotho’s main hope Mosito Lehata also suffered disappointment when he missed out in the 100 metres heats.

Lehata will get a chance to bounce back in the 200 metres which start on Tuesday. The second and final week of the Olympics will also see Tšepang Sello, Namakoe Nkhasi, Lebenya Nkoka, Tšepo Mathibelle and Phetetso Monese get their taste of the action. The Rio 2016 Games end on Sunday.

Linare will be stronger in 2016/17

A better 2016/17 for Linare?
Linare coach Motlatsi Shale says he is expecting a better Tse Tala team in the 2016/17 Vodacom Premier League season.

The Leribe giants endured a dismal 2015/16 campaign in which they were stuck in the relegation dogfight all season. Ultimately, Linare only secured survival in the penultimate game of the season.

Despite that poor campaign, expectations are always high in Hlotse and Shale, who took the reins in January, said his side will be improved this term.

Linare begin their season on August 27 at home against newly-promoted Sky Battalion and Shale said Tse Tala will be a better balanced outfit.

“We will try to have a mixture of young and experienced players to give balance to the squad,” he said. “I believe we have done well in the pre-season and will continue to work hard to have a competitive side come the start of the new season.”

Shale also urged Leribe businesses to support Linare.

“It is important for the whole Hlotse community to support us, especially the corporate sector through sponsorship,” he said.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mosito Lehata begins Rio 2016 campaign

Mosito Lehata (left) begins his Rio 2016 run
Mosito Lehata begins his Rio 2016 Olympics on Saturday evening when he races in the 100 metres.

Because Lehata is a ranked runner he will not compete in the preliminary round which starts from 19:30 (CAT). Instead, he will race in the first round heats which start at 22:00 (CAT). The semi-finals and the final of the 100 metres will be on Monday.

Lehata is in good form heading into his Rio bow.

He won silver in the 100 metres at the Africa Senior Championships in South Africa in June where he set a new personal best time of 10.04 seconds, which is also the Lesotho national record.

Speaking on Friday, Lehata said he hopes to lower his 100 metres mark again and reach Monday’s final.

“I don’t know how far God can carry me but I am hoping for a new national record and to make to it to the final. That is what I am praying for. Hopefully God hears me cry,” Lehata said.

Lehata will also race in the 200 metres which starts on Tuesday.

His personal best time in the event is 20.42 seconds which he set last July in Tomblain, France.

The 100 and 200 metres record holder is Lesotho’s biggest draw at the Rio Olympic Games.

He fine-tuned his preparations at a training camp in Nancy, France from July 14 to 30.

Lehata also has solid championship pedigree. He was in a finalist in the 200 metres at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he eventually finished fourth. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kuenane goes under the knife, Lesotho duo off to United States

Lesia Thetsane is off to the US 
Lioli goalkeeper Mohau Kuenane is expected to be out for at least two to three months after under-going surgery on a troublesome left knee.

Kuenane was the first choice goalkeeper for both Tse Nala and the Lesotho national side until the start of last season. However, he struggled to remain fit during the 2015/16 season thanks to a niggling knee problem. Kuenane eventually lost his place at Lioli to Liteboho Mokhehle and Kananelo Makhooane.

He was also unable to recover in time to be considered for Likuena’s trip to the COSAFA Castle Cup in June.

Lioli sought medical advice on Kuenane’s injury woes and surgery was decided as the best solution.

The 31 year-old stopper underwent the surgery in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The premiership champions hope the successful surgery means Kuenane will return to full fitness and form when he recovers.

Staying with football and the Kick4Life pair of Lesia Thetsane and ‘Mako Makoanyane is set to depart for the United States this week.

The promising duo, both 19 years old, has been awarded two-year scholarships to play and study at the State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri.

Both players enjoyed stellar 2015/16 campaigns. Thetsane was nominated for the Vodacom Premier League’s young player of the season award for his marauding displays from left-back.

The duo brings the number of Lesotho players overseas to three. Thetsane and Makoanyane join Likuena attacker Tšotleho Jane who also plies his trade in the US with Richmond Kickers.

Finally, the pre-season competition involving Matlama and Botswana’s Township Rollers will be this weekend’s main attraction.

The three-team international showdown will also feature Bantu and will take place at Setsoto Stadium.

Bantu will face Rollers at 13:00. Hosts Matlama will then get their turn to have a crack at the visitors at 15:00.

Tickets are M20 for the open stands and M30 for the Royal Stand.