Thursday, October 28, 2021

Zebras beat odds and Warriors

Eleven Warriors of Namibia, hundreds of hostile fans and innumerable odds could not stop a determined Botswana National team on Saturday from advancing to the semi-finals of the ongoing COSAFA Castle cup.

The senior national team, Zebras await Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) in the semi finals of the ongoing COSAFA castle cup in Windhoek, Namibia. Botswana progressed to the semi finals after defeating the host and defending champions, Namibia in the quarter finals.

Despite the adversity both at home and during the tournament, Zebras transcended all odds and shattered the dreams of host nation Namibia who were favored to proceed to the next stage of the tournament and ultimately defend the COSAFA cup. The semi final match is fixtured for Wednesday at Sam Nujoma stadium 2030hrs.

Following the quarter final victory against Brave Warriors of Namibia senior national team coach, Peter Butler, who praised his players for winning their COSAFA quarter final match, also took a swipe at his detractors and ‘dedicated the win to all who worked against him and his team.’

“I dedicate the win to all the people who worked against the team and the players who were focused on doing duty for the nation,” said Butler.  He said despite the trying circumstances, the players’ moral is high and they are aiming to go further in the tournament. Butler shared the sentiments during a post match press conference when asked how he motivated his team to rise above the politics surrounding the game prior to their departure. Ask to name the people who worked against his team, Butler said those who are only interested in politics at the expense of national duty. The Zebras’ Coach has had a difficult time assembling his squad after Township Rollers and Centre Chiefs withdrew their players from the squad to prepare for the aborted league deciding playoff.

The Zebras advanced to the quarter finals after beating Brave Warriors 5 ÔÇô 4 on penalties. At the end of the match both teams were 1- 1 extending the game to a penalty shoot out. Mampule Masule who came in for the injured Kabelo Dambe saved the last penalty kick from Deon Hotto to see Zebras advance to the next round.

Butler who likes playing behind the capacity crowd was buoyed by his players’ character saying they were not intimidated but soldiered on to emerge victorious despite the thousands Namibian fans who filled the stadium to capacity.

Ricardo Manetti, Namibian head coach, congratulated Zebras head coach for the team’s sterling performance. Manetti who said he was pained by the defeat apologized to the Namibian supporters who thronged the stadium in numbers. “It is very painful to lose in front of the many supporters whose spirits were high. We had issues of discipline and a few withdrawals from the team by some senior players” he explained.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper