After a 7-0 loss away to
a 0-0 home draw with Sudan
in the first two qualifiers last year, Sunday’s encounter represents a must-win
is to make any noise in this extremely difficult group. Lesotho
Sunday’s game is also the second of
three at home and, as is widely-known, in Africa
playing at home is an advantage teams have to make the most of.
In their last home game Likuena played to a goalless draw with Sudan, a match in which Leslie Notši’s side played well without ever looking like they would grab all three points.
When it comes to
Lesotho’s chances of causing an upset, Sunday’s
comes at a pretty good time. Chipolopolo are
coming off a disappointing 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign which has
resulted in relative upheaval. Flamboyant coach Hervé Renard has since sidelined
several veteran players such as strikers James Chamanga and Noah Chivuta. Zambia
There are question marks surrounding the team’s hunger as well the pressure from back home to beat a lowly-ranked Lesotho – Zambia is ranked 36th in the world and Likuena 166th.
can use to its advantage. Lesotho
So defensively things look good, it’s upfront where a marked improvement is needed. Goal-scoring has been a serious headache for
since the retirements of
Teele Ntšonyana and Lebajoa Mphongoa and in an attempt to solve the problem Notši
has recalled in-form Litšepe Marabe to his squad. The Bantu star is the top
scorer in the league with 13 goals in 14 games. Lesotho
Speaking in local media last week Leslie Notši said: “This is one of our toughest matches and we will have to do well playing at home with the home ground advantage.
is a very good side. They have a team that has played together for more than
four years and we will have to be at our best because they are one of the top
teams in our region.” Zambia
Even at this early stage it feels as though Notši’s team may just be playing for pride. Zambia lead Group D with six points from two games, Ghana follow on four points with Sudan and Lesotho third and fourth with a point each.
Still, anything is possible. A win for Lesotho may seem a long-shot, but for inspiration Likuena can look to the last time the two nations met – a Cosafa Cup quarterfinal in 2000 at Setsoto which Lesotho won 1-0.
Likuena squad v Zambia
Goalkeepers: Liteboho Mokhehle (Lioli), Mohau Kuenane (Lioli)
Defenders: Moitheri Ntobo, captain (LCS), Thabo Masualle (Lioli), Tlali Maile (Bantu), Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli), Janefeke Molibeli (LDF), Basia Makepe (Joy), Jerry Kamele (Joy)
Midfielders: Bokang Mothoana (US Monastir, Tunisia), Katleho Moleko (RC Athletico FC, South Africa), Ralekoti Mokhahlane (LCS), Mabuti Potloane (Linare), Litšepe Marabe (Bantu), Thabiso Mohapi (Bantu), Thulo Ranchobe.(LCS), Motlalepula Mofolo (Lioli)
Strikers: Mojela Letsie (LDF), Lehlomela Ramabele (Likhopo), Thapelo Tale (Likhopo), Tšepo Lekhoana (Maluti FET College, South Africa)