Saturday, December 3, 2022

Can Zebras really make it to 2012 AFCON?

Almost the whole of Africa has started to seriously take note of Botswana’s improved performance.
Others have even gone to the extent of saying Botswana is the surprise package that needs to be taken seriously for the qualifications of 2012 Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON).

Nobody gave Botswana a chance to beat former African champions Tunisia away.
The Zebras won 1-0 in Tunis, courtesy of Jerome Ramatlhakwane. They went on to win over Chad.
And this past week, they earned a valuable point in Malawi. This means Botswana has amassed a total of seven points and leads Group K.

Going for three matches without a loss is a historic achievement for Botswana.
They are looking forward to qualifying for their first ever AFCON but despite leading the group, there is really still a long way to go.

While many Batswana have high hopes for the Zebras but also believe that our players have to sweat blood to make it.

Others are asking themselves about the realistic chances of the team to make it.
There are five matches left and anything can happen.

Other powerful countries that make up the group are Togo and Malawi, with the other one being Chad.
Togo qualified for the 2006 World Cup and made it to this year’s AFCON. Most of their players are based at some of Europe’s top leagues.

Malawi, on the other hand, made it to last year’s AFCON after a 26-year hiatus.
A good start by Botswana means that the chances of Togo and Tunisia making it are in jeopardy.

Coach of the team, Stanley Tshosane, does not want to ring joyous bells despite Botswana being on top of the group. He told Sunday Standard Sport that what matters the most is to take each match as it comes.

“I keep on telling my players to just focus on collecting three points at a time. Right now we are left with five matches and there can be a lot of changes and developments in between. I am happy because we have not yet lost a match and for that matter the next one will be in Gaborone against Togo next month,” he said.

Tshosane also added that he is happy because the spirit has never been so high in the team, adding that they all have the same mission.

He said he was humbled by the fact that several Batswana supporters braced the chilling weather to attend the Malawi game and some of them came from as far as Selibe Phikwe.

Tshosane’s assistant, Kenneth Mogae, echoed Tshosane’s statement, saying that if all the stakeholders can give the national team deserved support they can collect valuable points in the coming matches.

He told Sunday Standard Sport that the team that is going to accumulate as much as 15 points might automatically make it to 2012 AFCON.

“The way things are no team is going to collect maximum points but the one that reaches the15-point mark would be in a better position to make it to AFCON,” he said.

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