Botswana/Zambia: Chipolopolo, Zebras Face Off

Francistown — The Zebras will play Chipolopolo of Zambia in the 2020 CHAN qualifier game on July 26 in Francistown.

The two will be meeting for the second successive competitive game in a space of two months, following the 2019 COSAFA cup final in Durban where Chipolopolo beat Zebras 1-0.

Zebras' interim coach, Mogomotsi Mpote said the Zebras should win the home game, adding that the team would put a fight to win the game since it was not easy to win the away game.

It will be Zambia and Botswana's second meeting at the same stage of the competition since the 2009 qualifiers that Zambia lost 1-0 away but won 3-0 in Lusaka to advance to the final qualifying round.

"We will not underrate Chipolopolo when we meet in the qualifier," said Mpote, who is the first local coach to reach the final of the COSAFA cup following the 2016 success by the then coach, Peter Butler.

He said they would use home ground advantage, especially the Francistown Stadium which was a crowed puller and a favourate for Zebras games.

"It's a home and away game so we should adequately prepare ourselves to win the home game because it might be difficult to beat them in their home ground and that is the cruelty of football," he added.

The Zebras were called into camp recently and Mpote was optimistic that the team selected was capable of beating Chipolopolo.

Mpote added that the boys were adequately training to match Chipolopolo.

Mpote has summoned 23 players for a 10-day training camp ahead of the July 26 second round, first leg of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Zambia.

He has named the bulk of his 2019 COSAFA Cup squad for the preparations apart from four players who are currently engaged in South Africa.

"We have replaced them with some of our outstanding players and the mentality is still the same," he added.

Mpote's squad consists of Keeagile Kgosipula, Joel Mogorosi (captain), Thabo Leinanyana, Lesenya Malapela, Fortunate Thulare, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Mbatshi Elias, Gilbert Baruti, Segolame Boy, Thato Seagateng, Lebogang Ditsele, Mothusi Johnson, Tumisang Pule, Tumisang Orebonye, Gofaone Mabaya, Omaatla Kebatho, Gape Gaogangwe, Mothusi Cooper, Keagile Kobe, Witness Kgamanyane, Kaone Vanderwestheizen, Alford Velaphi and Thabo Motswagole.

Zambia will host Botswana on August 3 and winners of the two legs will play either Eswatini or Angola in the final qualifying round for the Cameroon 2020 CHAN.

Source : BOPA

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