Lesotho name young squad for COSAFA Under-20 Championships

Lesotho coach Motlalepula Majoro has named a very young squad for the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, sponsored by PPC, that will be staged in South Africa’s North West from December 7-16.

Majoro has included five players born in or after 2000 and another three who are still 17 years old.

He will also give a run to 13-year-old Relebohile Thulo, who looks likely to be among the youngest players in the competition having been both on December 29, 2002.

Many of the players featured for Lesotho in the 2017 African Youth Championship qualifiers earlier this year where they defeated Mozambique 2-1 on aggregate, before losing 5-0 to South Africa and missing out on the finals in Zambia.

Lesotho were the hosts of the last COSAFA Under-20 Championships in 2013, but continued a disappointing run in the competition when they exited in the first round.

They might not have reached the semifinals since 2005, but have generally always run close to the knockout stages and will feel they have a good chance this year.

Their Group A contains hosts South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana.

Lesotho have made the final of the COSAFA Under-20 Championships before, in 2005, when they lost 1-0 to Madagascar, the closest they have come to claiming the prestigious junior crown.

They were also runners-up in the 1990 tournament that was played in a round-robin group phase

Lesotho squad:

Goalkeepers: Jessy Matsie, Monaheng Ramalefane

Defenders: Katleho Mochobi, Thabo Mphosi, Rethabile Mokokoane, Mohai Mohai, Itumeleng Leche, Moalosi Mosoeu

Midfielders: Relebohile Thulo, Relebohile Mabone, Lehlohonolo Fothoane, James Mothotjela, Tsepo Nqetho, Nkopane Mokitimi

Strikers: Thabang Malane, Thaane Mokoena, Tseliso Botsane, Bonang Mohapi, Rasetabele Kalosane, Leluma Posholi