Maseru, Aug. 31 — Lesotho’s senior soccer squad Likuena next rivals in the last group H totalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, Cote d’Ivoire has announced its strongest possible squad ahead of their meeting on September 09.
This is despite Cote d’Ivoire having already automatically qualified for the AFCON finals by virtue of being the host nation of this continental showpiece to be played in January next year.
Among the players announced this week include three goalkeepers Fofana Yahia based in France, Sangare Badra who plays for Sekhukhune in South Africa as well as Folly Ayayi who plays for Asec Mimosa in Cote d’Ivoire.
In defence, the Elephants as Cote d’Ivoire is nicknamed, has called Sangrare Ibrahim who plays for PSV Eindhoven, Kessie Franck who plays for Arabian side in Middle East, Seri Jean Michael who plays for Hull City in England, Doumbia Idrissa who is based in Qatar and Traore Junior Hamed who plays for Bournemouth in England.
Attacking midfielders include Diakite Oumar based in France, Jonathan Bamba who plays for Cela Vico in Spain, Adingra Simon who plays for Brighton in England, Maxwel Cornet who also plays for West Ham United in England and Gradel Max Alain based in Turkey.
There are also players from Portugal, Italy and Germany among European based players called for this encounter.
Likuena interim coach Mr. Leslie Notsi could not be reached on his mobile phone to get his comment, but Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) Media Officer Mr. Mikia Kalati said a provisional squad has already been called.
However, he said the final squad is yet to be announced and that the players resumed training last week Monday.
Likuena is languishing in the bottom of Group H in which Zambia has qualified for the AFCON finals together with Cote d’Ivoire as the hosts while Comoros and Likuena will have to try again next time.
The boys from the Mountain Kingdom accumulated a single point against Cote d’Ivoire in the first meeting played in Dobsonville, Johannesburg, since Setsoto Stadium is still suspended from hosting international events.