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Final Mehalalitoe Cosafa squad announced

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Leemisa Thuseho

NATIONAL women soccer team coach, Pule Khojane, has named his final squad for the upcoming Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Women Championship.

This year’s tournament will be played in Port Elizabeth, South Africa from 31 August to September 11.

The 23-member Mehalalitoe squad was announced this weekend during a press conference held at Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) premises.

Khojane has included six foreign based players; Boitumelo Nkieane and Kefuoe Makoa who play for Inter Madrid, in South Africa.

There is also Boitmelo Rabale from Mamelodi Sundowns, Litšeoane Maloro from Tshwane University of Technology, ‘Mamakhabane Makibinyane from Deipkloof Ladies as well as Mosili Motšoeneng from Royal AM Ladies. All these players are based in South Africa.

Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) dominate the squad with 12 call ups, Kick4life four players and Basetsana have one player.

Mehalalitoe are drawn in Group B alongside Zambia, eSwatini and Namibia.

Lesotho will start their campaign against eSwatini on Thursday before taking on Zambia on 4 September 2022. In their last group stage match, they lock horns with Namibia two days later.

Khojane who will be leading Mehalalitoe for the first time said he was ready for the challenge.

He said his team had enough time to prepare for the tournament.

The availability of the South Africa based played players would be a huge boost for the team due to the exposure they get from playing at more competitive leagues outside the country.

“We started our preparations in April and played some friendly games in May. However, we were forced to play against South African clubs because some national teams in the region were not available.

“Some countries were busy with the African Women Cup Nation while others didn’t have teams ready for international friendlies,” Khojane said.

The COSAFA tournament marks the return of Mehalalitoe to international competitions.

The team was pulled out by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) for poor performances during the 2020 edition of the competition. That year, Mehalalitoe were thumped 8-0 and 9-0 to Malawi and Zambia respectively.

LeFA then decided to focus on rebuilding the team.

Khojane said the team was now ready to return to the international scene although they were still building since it’s a new team.

“This is a new team. Eight of the players are getting their national team caps for the first time. But I can promise that it won’t take long for the team to be at the stage where we want it to be,” he said.

Final squad:

Goalkeepers; Mpolokeng Mothuntšane, Boitumelo Nkieane and ‘Mamakhabane Makibinyane.

Defenders; Mosili Motšoeneng, ‘Maqabane Mokhothu, Tšoanelo Leboka, Thato Sentje, ‘Mathebe Ramphielo, Lerato Mphou, Bokang Ntsane, and Ntatsi Khakanyo.

Midfielders; Mosele Pita, Molemo Mokhothu, Boitumelo Rabale, Matšeliso Ntšasa, ‘Maseriti Mohlolo, Ntšabeng Pelea, and Kefuoe Makoa.

Forwards; Litšeoane Maloro, Nteboheleng Mohoshela, Matšeliso Makutoane, Phuzile Molefe and Nthabeleng Potsane.