Botswana: Olympic Dream Blown Off

Francistown — The Botswana senior women national football team has been kicked out of the Olympic Games qualifiers.

Botswana lost 0-2 to Zambia in a second leg qualifier in Frnacistown on October 8.

The loss gave Zambia a 3-0 aggregate following the 1-0 victory in the first leag a week ago.

Zambia were a threat from start of the game until they found the back of the net in the 18th minute through Grace Banda after Botswana's defender ,Masego Montsho, made a blunder outside the 18 metre box.

There was a lot of expectation in the second half when Botswana pressurised Zambia, but nothing came of it.

Both sides had a share of missed chances.

Botswana's creative winger, Tebogo Tholakele, connected well with Balotlhanyi Johannes, but should have themselves to blame for missing several scoring opportunities, especially in the second half.

However, the combination of Spain-based Barbara Banda and Mary Mwakapila made the game difficult for Botswana.

Grace scored a second goal in the 53rd minute, after penetrating Botswana's defence.

One yellow card was issued against Botswana's Onneile Thanda for rough marking, but it did not deter the girls as they soldiered on to the end.

In a post-match briefing, Botswana coach, Gaolethoo Nkutlwisang, said though they lost, the team played well, albeit with lack of confidence.

She said they were not surprised by the results, looking at the fact that Zambia was a power house in the region.

"Zambia is a better team than us, but I am happy with the results because we managed to contain them, otherwise they could have scored many more goals," she added.

Zambia coach, Bruce Mwape, said his team created chances, especially in the first half but failed to convert them.

He said Botswana had improved from the game they played in Zambia, giving credit to Botswana's goalkeeper, Sedilame Bosija, whom he said prevented his team from scoring more goals.

Mwape, however, said Botswana still lacked confidence though they were a good side compared to other teams in the region.

Zambia would face Kenya in the fourth round of the qualifiers.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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