Thursday, April 18, 2024

Can Botswana break Zimbabwe jinx?

Zebras coach, Stanley Tshosane is confident that Botswana can conquer the Council for Sothern African Football Associations tournament that is on going in Zimbabwe. Botswana have booked their quarterfinal berth with Zimbabwe tomorrow (Monday) in Bulawayo after finishing top of group B without conceding a single goal while on the other hand scoring three goals.

Botswana had a slow start of the tournament but gained momentum as it progressed. They started by playing to a goalless draw with Islanders, Comoros before thumbing Swaziland by a solo goal. They rounded up the group by thrashing another islander, Seychelles by a two goals. After the victory against Seychelles, Tshosane told Sunday Standard that Zebras can go all the way to the semi-finals because they are playing well. “Zimbabwe is a powerful country and we have never defeated them before in either a friendly or an official match. Also taking into consideration that they will be playing at home gives them a psychological advantage. But that does not mean that we would sit back and not compete, we would come with our guns blazing,” he said. Zimbabwe do not only come out the best against the Zebras, but the latter always find it difficult to score. Four years ago Zimbabwe thrashed Botswana 2-0 in the same tournament in Windhoek. Last year, Zimbabwe also beat Botswana 1-0 in a friendly game at the national stadium. Tshosane on the other hand expressed concern about the release of six players for their respective teams for this weekend Premier League matches. He said that might have a negative impact on the team. “Most of those players are invaluable to the team and there is a possibility for them to get injured.

Also they might be too tired to play against the physical Zimbabwe. Imagine they played three matches in five days and they are also playing this weekend while on the other hand expected to play again on Monday. That disadvantages me a lot and a common ground should have been found long before this tournament,” said a concerned Tshosane. The sixplayers are Michael Mogaladi, Dirang Moloi (Centre Chiefs), Botlhe Moralo (Notwane), Ontse Ntesa, Keabetswe Jenamiso and Malepa Bolelang. Mogaladi and Moloi are the midfield cream and engineer most moves of the team. Although Ntesa and Jenamiso were introduced in the last matches, but they proved to be vital.

Ntesa who last played for the under 20 that was coched Sthandwa Mogwadi proved he is a force to reckon against Sychelles with his overlapping runs and crosses. Tshosane also told Sunday Standard that they started on low note because they knew nothing about their opponents, Comoros. Against Swaziland the Zebras struggled in the first half but came back firing in the second half. The introduction of Bolelang bore fruits as he scored the only goal of the match. In the do or die final match against Sychelles the Zebras converted from Pontsho Moloi and Boleleng. It was a game Botswana could have won by an avalanche of goals but Boleleng, Dirang Moloi, Moemedi Moatlhaping wasted so many opportunities.


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