Tsepo Seturumane du Lesotho
Monday May 18, 2015. 12:20
Lesotho and Madagascar will look to get their 2015 Cosafa Cup campaign off to winning start when they meet in their Group B opener at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Monday evening (17:00 CAT).
The tournament kicked off on Sunday with two Group A matches: a goalless draw between Namibia and Seychelles, as well as a 2-0 win for Zimbabwe over Mauritius.
It’s now the turn of the Group B competitors to open battle, with the top team after the round robin phase earning a place in the quarterfinals where they will come up against guest team Ghana.
Lesotho’s best showing in the Cosafa Cup was reaching the final in 2000, where they were defeated by Zimbabwe. They also finished the 2013 edition in fourth place after losing to South Africa in the bronze medal match.
Likuena coach Seephephe Matete says he will be banking on his youngsters who have graduated from the U-20 team when they compete in the Cosafa Cup.
“This is a good tournament and our focus is on the youth. Most of our players in the senior team are from the squad that competed at the 2013 Under-20 championship,” Matete said at a press conference.
“There are actually six players promoted from the U-20 side. This is the tournament that should help us to expose the talented players.”
Matete added that getting off to a winning start is particularly important: “First games are always very important. You have to try and win or at least get a draw to help you build momentum going into the second game.”
Madagascar are returning to the Cosafa Cup for the first time since recording their best finish in the tournament – fourth place in 2008 – having opted out of both the 2009 and 2013 editions.
This will be the first Cosafa Cup meeting between Lesotho ad Madagascar.