can move be magic?

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Lesotho hope relocating to Mangaung for their 2010 World Cup-Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will be a good omen for them in their quest to become a force to be reckoned with.

The new-look Likoena start their campaign at Free State Stadium on Sunday against one of the African giants in the Black Stars of Ghana, starting at 6pm.

Likoena, captained by Orlando Pirates defender Lehlohonolo Seema, are still to qualify for the finals of a major continental or global competition.

But Basotho believe they have found their own Moses to lead Likoena to Canaan in Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevic.

"This is a new beginning for Likoena, it will be a tough one but football is full of surprises," said Tshiu Monne, Lesotho Football Association executive member.

"It's good to go into the match as underdogs, it eases the pressure on our side. The good thing about our group is that we all know what Ghana are capable of.

"The Ghanaians did well during the Africa Cup of Nations, secondly their players are in the big leagues globally," said Monne.

After arriving in Bloemfontein yesterday, Milosavljevic said they had recovered from the frustration of failing to honour their opening match in Gabon.

Lesotho were stuck in transit at OR Tambo International Airport for three days due to an air traffic controllers' strike in Gabon.

"First impressions last longer, we are going all out for a good result against Ghana, whom we respect a lot because they have an array of great stars," said Milosavljevic.

It will be Ghana's first game after they were replaced by Cameroon as Africa's top ranked country on the Fifa rankings. The Indomitable Lions are 13th overall with Ghana - who are targeting Gordon Igesund as a permanent coach - relegated to 16th spot.

Guided by caretaker coach Sellas Tetteh, Ghana lead the group after walloping Libya 3-0 in Kumasi last Sunday.

"We are going into this game confident of yet another win, the plan is to win all four qualifiers in the month of June," said Tetteh.

Ghana have brought all their big name players like Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, John Mensah and Junior Agogo to show that they take this game seriously.

Besides Seema, Lesotho have experienced players like the Tunisia-based duo of Bokang Mothoana and Moitheri Ntobo, who play for US Monastir.

Another foreign-based player in the Likoena squad is Mphungoa Lebajoa of African Warriors, a South African First Division side.