Sports

Matsoso calls it a day

…as the former Lioli Striker quits Likuena

Chris Theko

Former Lioli forward Luciano Matsoso hung his boots on international duty following after being dropped from the Likuena squad which plays Sierra Leone tomorrow (Saturday March 27, 2021) and Nigeria next week. 

Matsoso was initially part of head coach, Thabo Senong’s provisional squad which has been

hard at work in camp for the past three weeks in preparation for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifiers must-win clashes.

In the first encounter, Likuena will host Sierra Leone at Setsoto stadium and then travel to Abuja, Nigeria to play the Super Eagles five days later. 

Matsoso was part of the initial provisional squad and was expected to join the rest of the team along with the other foreign-based players on Monday.  However, he says he received a text from the coach on Saturday morning informing him he was no longer part of the team. 

It was upon receiving the message that in disappointment he decided to permanently leave the team. 

“I am largely disappointed in the technical team because I had plans and was looking forward to being part of the team unfortunately the technical team has other plans. In as much as I am disappointed, this could be a chance for me to focus on my new team,” he said disappointed.

Matsoso who had been without a team since his departure from Lioli at the end of the 2019/20 season, recently signed with South African former premier league side Wits for the remainder of the season.  

Wits were technically wiped out of the face of the footballing big stage in South Africa after their PSL status was sold to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila. However, they found their consolation in acquiring the status of ABC Motsepe League side Baberwa FC.

Now Matsoso has been getting game-time since joining the side hence feels he should have made the cut for the final squad. 

“Since joining Wits I have been playing every week so me being a back-up is unfair because I believe I deserve to be in the final squad,” he said.

Meanwhile, Likuena head coach Thabo Senong announced his final squad on Tuesday in which Matsoso and Tšoarelo Bereng were left out. 

He said the duo was requested to join the camp earlier than the rest of the foreign-based players because they are currently available to do so but both failed to honor that request with no explanation. 

“Luciano has not been granted his work permit which means he has not been playing in any official matches although he has been training with his team (Wits).  Unfortunately, they could not arrive in time to prepare,” Senong said. 

He said the United States-based duo of Lesia Thetsane and Napo Matsoso, as well as Thabiso Brown who plays in Bolivia, were not able to make it because of logistical challenges. 

“For the overseas based players, the only problem has been logistics.  They are training every day and playing competitive football but the logistics have been a nightmare so unfortunately they were not available,” he said. 

He expressed his satisfaction at the shape of his team as well as their level of fitness.

“The players are looking fit now and it is all thanks to the Lesotho Football Association administration for allowing us enough time to prepare considering that the players had been on a lay-off and inactive for months so we needed the time,” he said. 

He added that the team’s mission is to secure a win against Sierra Leone on Saturday and then to soon after shift their focus to the Nigeria game. 

Likuena final squad for Sierra Leone and Nigeria games

Goalkeepers:

Monaheng Ramalefane

Sekhoane Moerane 

Ntsane Lichaba 

Defenders:

Thabang Malane

Thabo Lesaoana

Basia Makepe

Motlomelo Mkhwanazi   

Nkau Lerotholi

Bokang Sello

Thabo Matšoele

Midfielders:

Tau Masiu

Tumelo Ngatane

Hlompho Kalake

Mokoteli Mohapi

Neo Mokhachane

Litšepe Marabe

Tšepo Toloane Lehlohonolo

Strikers:

Motebang Sera

Tumelo Khutlang

Nkoto Masoabi

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