Botswana: Draw Pits Zebras Against Strong Rivals

Gaborone — After some dry spell of qualifying for international tournaments, do the Zebras have what it takes to finally get the monkey off their backs and qualify for AFCON 2021?

Given the current status of the senior national team at the hands of a pro tem head coach, Sunday Standard sport journalist Botlhale Koothopile said in an interview that Botswana Football Association (BFA) needed to move swiftly and appoint a coach.

"We don't have to wait any longer. The association should treat this as a matter of urgency and appoint a coach for the team," he said.

Koothopile said the coach would then start scouting for players while the technical director as well as the technical team should also look for challenging international friendly games to help players hone their skills.

"We need high quality friendly games that will help us to gauge our strengths and weaknesses, and the areas that need improvement," he said.

He said the country's football governing body should also be in a position to avail resource for the team to qualify.

A CAF draw conducted last week has pitted Botswana with African champions, Algeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers and one can only be hopeful that the Zebras would make the grade.

Algeria and Zimbabwe competed at the just ended AFCON games which Algeria won.

The last time the Zebras played in Africa's showpiece was in 2012 under the tutelage of Stanley Tshosane.

At the time, they were in Group K together with Tunisia, Malawi, Togo and Chad.

The then marauding Zebras finished at the summit of the group with 17 points, from eight games out of which they won five, lost two and drew one.

When they started their campaign in 2010, they managed to beat Tunisia 1-0 in their own backyard, courtesy of Jerome Ramatlhakwane's strike.

As Africa was still shocked, the Zebras demonstrated that they did not beat Tunisia by a fluke and continued to beat star-studded Chad 1-0 via Phenyo Mongala at the University of Botswana Stadium.In their next game against Togo, Zebras continued to prove their case as they piped their opponents 2-1 through Ramatlhakwane and Joel Mogorosi.

In the second leg against Tunisia, Ramatlhakwane continued to haunt the opposition scoring a goal against them and ending the encounter at 1-0 scoreline. The Zebras went on to beat Chad again 1-0.

They played to a one-all as well as a goalless draw against Malawi before losing 0-1 against Togo.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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