Despite venturing into the African club competitions for the first time in their history, Uniao Flamengo Santos are unfazed and believe they can progress further in the tournament.
Santos play Mozambique side, Cosata dol Sol, on Valentine’s Day away in Maputo.
Dol Sol is the perennial participants in the African competitions and Santos might be in for a tough time. Dol Sol also has eight players in the national team that recently took part at the Africa Cup of Nations Cup that ended on Sunday.
Santos Technical Chief, Matshidiso Sexton Kowa, told The Telegraph that his players have what it takes and have international experience to match dol Sol.
“That team is strong and has many players in the national team. But as you know football is a game of eleven players apiece in the field of play and we also had many of our players in the national junior teams and gained invaluable international experience,” he said.
The last Botswana team to play in Mozambique was Gaborone United in 1993 against Ferroviaro de Maputo and lost by an aggregate margin of 2-1. By then Gaborone United complained of maltreatment from their Mozambican counterparts.
Santos, however, said they have already arranged all the logistics involved for the match. Santos is doing well in the league and might cause a surprise against dol Sol.
Players to watch for in the team are the likes of Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele and his brother Gabriel, together with Thato ‘Yellow’ Bolwelweng and Boitshoko Zikhali.
Travelling around Africa has proven to be a very expensive exercise and, in the previous years, some local teams did not take part because of that. Santos, on the other hand, says travelling expenses should not be seen as an excuse. The team has since partnered with a computer company, Information Technology Integrators, to help them travel across Africa.