Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Mogorosi’s West African affair

For a long time, Botswana’s national soccer team has struggled to beat West African countries whenever they faced each other. The physical and well built West African countries always had it easy against Botswana and they always scored an avalanche of goals in all encounters. The only countries that Botswana gave a run for their money were mainly North African countries. Botswana would either lose with a slim margin, draw or win. 

However, the fortunes seem to be dramatically changing for the Zebras when they play against West African countries. Just on Saturday, Botswana beat Mali 2-1 at Francistown stadium for their first time in their history. Mali was the third senior national team from West Africa to be defeated by Botswana.

What is interesting to note is the fact that Joel Mogorosi scored goals in all three encounters against the West African teams.

When Botswana defeated a West African country for the first time in 2010, being Togo, Joel Mogorosi scored the first goal. Zebras went on to win the encounter 2-1 following a winning goal by Jerome Ramatlhakwane. The win against Togo would pave way for Zebras to qualify for their maiden 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. In August this year when Botswana defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in a 2015 Afcon qualifying match, Mogorosi once again scored. And on Saturday in the first leg of the 2018 group qualifications, Mogorosi’s second goal handed Zebras a well fought victory. 

His goal came after Police XI’s Tapiwa Gadibolae gave Zebras the lead and it was his first goal for the national team. Mogorosi returned from South Africa a few months ago after being released by Bloemfontein Celtic and joined Township Rollers. His on form performance is proof that South Africa made a blunder by not renewing his contract.  Botswana played Mali yesterday (Tuesday) away in Bamako for the second leg.


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