Saturday, March 2, 2024

Tall order awaits Under 23

Tall order awaits Botswana’s national Under 23 in their remaining Olympic qualifier against Egypt next month.

Botswana was on Friday defeated by powerhouse Egypt 2-0 away in Cairo in a nail biting encounter.
It is not going to be easy to reverse the score-line and eventually win. The winner between the two teams qualifies for the group stages of the Olympic qualifications.

Botswana qualified for the group stages for the first time in 2008 but ended up finishing behind Cameroon that eventually qualified.

Most of the Botswana players in the Olympic squad are the toast of the Premier League and there were expectations that they would perform well. The current crop failed to emulate the previous team that started their preliminaries away to Tunisia but they forced a draw and won 1-0 to a capacity crowd in Gaborone.

Coach Stanley Mwaanga told the Telegraph that it is going to be tough for Botswana to reverse the Egyptian score-line. He said in the meantime coaches of the Zebras and national Under 23 should work together for the benefit of both teams.

“Losing to a team of Egyptian caliber by two goals in the first leg means that the second leg will not be easy at all. Anything is possible in football but it is really going to be tough. However, both Stanley Tshosane of Zebras and Daniel Nare of the national Under 23 should work hand in hand and see how they can assist each other,” he said.

The national Under 23 also has a mammoth task against Zimbabwe in the All Africa Games qualifier next month.

Botswana is yet to defeat Zimbabwe in official matches and they have to triple their efforts if they are to win.

Zimbabwe has already proved that they mean business in the All Africa Games because they managed to defeat the powerful Zambian team in a preliminary encounter. Also the Zimbabwean senior team is not doing well and that could be an inspiration to the Under 23 to perform even much better.


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