The problems that persisted in the last games of the 2010 World Cup and AFCON for the Zebras seem to be still there.
Insufficient fire power and a rigid midfield seem to be the main concern, especially under Stanley Tshosane.
In Wednesday’s friendly game against Lesotho, the hosts dominated the midfield with ease because they had mobile players while Botswana was mostly dominated by hard tacklers.
Although coach Tshosane is in the building process lack of coordination in the midfield should be given attention before it is too late.
In the last games of last year, where Zebras bowed out behind Mozambique, Ivory Coast and Madagascar, Tshosane did not prefer creative midfielders but rather hard tacklers and thus creating a void that needed a ball carrier.
Ball players were mainly introduced late in the game and it was in most cases a little too late.
Notable games are the last two games against the Ivory Coast and Mozambique. In a game Botswana lost by an embarrassing 4-0, Dirang Moloi was brought in late to try to mobilise the midfield but it was late because the Ivorians were already having an upper hand.
Against Mozambique in Botswana, Tshosane preferred to use, Boitumelo Mafoko, Tshepho Motlhabankwe and Mogogi Gabonamong and the Mozambicans easily took control.
On the bench, he left the likes of Moloi and Vincent Phiri.
Against Lesotho on Wednesday, Tshosane once again preferred hard tacklers and, again, let the Crocodiles have an upper hand. In the first half, the former BDF XI coach combined Mafoko with Gunners man, Kemmy Pilato, but could not get the desired fruits.
Later on, he introduced Elijah Montsho (formerly Phiriepa) but Centre Chiefs anchorman was immobile just like Mafoko and thus rendering the striking force ineffective.
Even the introduction of Amos ‘Shoes’ Godirwang still left a lot to be desired in the midfield.
Tshosane stressed that he was not after any results but was looking at various combinations. He was unfazed even by a goalless draw. Tshosane would not even want to say which players would feature regularly for his team.
On the other hand, new players in the team like, Mogakolodi Ngele, Lemponye Tshireletso look to have a bright future for the team.
Ngele did not have many attempts on goal and was, in most cases, forced to revert back a bit to collect balls from the midfield. But once in possession opponents struggled to dispossess him. He even had a great attempt at goal from a free corner and hit the upright. With time, the Uniao Flamengo Santos man seems to be heading for greater things.
Tshireletso on the other hand was deployed on the wing and did exceptionally well. He easily swayed away Lesotho players with his physique and easily outclassed them. His crosses were, however, easily dealt with by towering Lesotho defenders.
Goalkeeper Maposa was not really troubled but showed superb reflex at the few dangerous shots that came his way. Mochudi Centre Chiefs man obviously looks as an automatic choice for Zebras in the absence of first choice keeper, Modiri Marumo.
Despite the game being played on Wednesday and being a friendly game, Zebras supporters from Orapa graced the occasion as they came in their numbers. Their thunderous applause for their team was even louder than of the home crowd.
Despite the game being free of charge the locals did not give a good turn out.