The road to the 2014 World Cup for Botswana’s senior national team, the Zebras, looks even bumpier after two matches. Botswana only managed to collect a point out of a possible six and is now under pressure to do well in the four remaining matches.
Compared to when they made their maiden appearance to 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, the Zebras started well by winning their first two matches and everything else followed.
Already the tough task for the team is the away games to South Africa, and Ethiopia. All Botswana’s opponents in the group have proven that they are not easy nuts to crack and more should be done if Botswana is to beat them. Botswana has already lost away matches to Central African Republic (CAR) and their next opponent, Ethiopia, are yet to lose a match.
Ethiopia is topping the group with four points. They drew away to South Africa in their first match and, this past weekend, they beat CAR at home 2-0.
This means the Ethiopian match will be the turning point for Botswana on whether they can progress to the next round or not. Despite the seemingly bumpy road ahead, national team coach, Stanley Tshosane, is an upbeat man. He believes the Zebras have great chances of winning the group at the end of the qualifiers.
“We have currently gained only a point out of possible six but there are still 12 points to play for and anything can happen after that. We still have a long way to go and we are always learning from the mistakes of the past matches. Hopefully, we will do much better in the next match against Ethiopia,” he said.
Botswana played the two opening matches without several of their key players. Veteran goalkeeper, Modiri Marumo, and influential midfielder, Diphetogo Selolwane, have called it a day. Leftback, Mosimanegape Ramohibidu is nursing an injury while crafty midfielders, Boitumelo Mafoko and Mogogi Gabonamong, could not make it due to family commitments and injury, respectively.