Gaborone — Botswana senior women football team will clash with South Africa's Banyana Banyana for the women's Olympic Tokyo 2020 qualifiers on August 26.
The teams will battle for the right to proceed to the next stage and face the winner between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The game will be played in early September.
The local girls, who arrived from Namibia on April 10, progressed to the next round after playing to a 2-2 draw with Namibia, but advanced to the next stage on a 3-2 aggregate.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) vice president, Marslow Motlogelwa said they were happy with the team's fighting spirit against the Brave Gladiators of Namibia.
He said the team had demonstrated that if fully resourced and well taken care of, it could uncover more talented players for the country to progress further in international competitions.
"But I should say we have put structures in place, and we have the German expert, Carolin Braun, who is drilling and advising them," he said.
Motlogelwa said if the team could hold their heads high they could go all the way in the competition.
He noted that the last time Botswana faced Banyana they lost 0-1, adding that with good preparations Botswana could overcome South Africa.
"The kind of talent and skill that I saw when we played against Namibia in the first leg was exceptional, and it is very encouraging," he said.
He said they took the coming fixture seriously because the Olympic qualifiers was a knock-out competition, and that funds permitting they would support and prepare the team with international friendly games.
Furthermore, Motlogelwa said they would also engage the BFA technical team to assist the women's technical team.
The association, he said, was going to put more resources on the girls team, adding that they were currently building at the regions and were expecting to have a formal league in the coming years.
Women's national team head coach, Gaoletlhoo Nkutwisang said the game was not easy given that Namibia scored an early goal with the intension to destabilise her side.
She said captain Bonang Otlhagile played a crucial role by telling her teammates to concentrate as the game was still young, hence they managed to equalise and ultimately advance to the next round.
Furthermore, she said they needed to start preparations for the Banyana Banyana encounter as soon as possible.