The Botswana Under 23 national team thrashed Likoena of Lesotho by a resounding 3 goals to nil on Wednesday evening at the UB Stadium. The game began on a low note, with both teams preferring a cautious approach.
The Botswana side was unable to connect any passes as they lost possession easily.
The “dream team”, as it is affectionately known in Botswana, sprang into action following the opening score by Kedikaetswe ‘Mara’ Moloi. The Mochudi Center Chiefs forward kicked the ball home in the 25th minute after receiving a well calculated pass.
Likoena, whose efforts at goal were fruitless, tried to pile pressure on the Botswana side to no avail.
They were awarded a free kick in the 25th minute after one of their players was brought down but Moli Lesesa shot carelessly over the goal post.
Botswana’s second goal came from Pontsho Moloi after he was taken down by Lesotho goalkeeper Kholoue Phashume inside the box. Referee Israel Malepa gave the goalkeeper marching orders.
At half time, Botswana was leading by two goals.
Botswana came into the second half with guns blazing, showing a bit more character and confidence with their passes.
Vincent Phiri was a marvel to watch as he made regular attempts at goal but was twice denied by the crossbar.
Coach Stanley Tshosane had made a half time substitute, replacing Pontsho Moloi with Tebogo Sembowa whose sharpness on the ball proved to be a menace for the Lesotho side who appeared more composed in the second half.
Sembowa’s efforts were rewarded with a goal that sealed the game for the Young Zebras.
Likoena was no match for the Botswana side as they failed to convert the chances they had managed to create, with most of their shots at goal going wide.
One supporter who was at the game said that it is high time the Botswana Football Association looked for more competitive sides to play against.
“We need to find teams that we can learn something from; teams such as Lesotho do not fit that bill,” he said.
Another supporter said that since this was just a friendly, the coach should have used only the material he had while trying out other formulas that could work for the team. He said that the inclusion of the four senior team members to reinforce the squad was not necessary. He went on to say that the inclusion of 18-year-old Edwin Moalosi was a step in the right direction because, given more time on the field of play, he could become an asset to the team.
Botswana line up was: Noah Maposa, Mmusa Ohilwe, Mompati Thuma, Goboneone ‘Shoes’ Selepa, Kenny Pilato, Mosimanegape Ramohibidu, Jackie Mothatego, Dirang Moloi, Kekaetswe Moloi, Pontsho Moloi, Thebe Maiketso, Boitumelo Modisaotsile, Vincent Phiri, Edwin Moalosi, Tebogo Sembowa, Kaone Molefe, Joseph Phetogo and Edwin Mokibe.