Botswana: Young Zebras in Port Elizabeth for Cosafa

Gaborone — The national Under 20 team are in Port Elizabeth, South Africa for the COSAFA Men's Under-20 Championship.

Botswana is in Group C with Angola and eSwatini.

The Young Zebras first assignment will be against Angola in a game to be played at Gelvandale Stadium on Sunday.

Their next encounter will be against eSwatini on Tuesday at Wolfson Stadium.

Young Zebras coach, Pio Paul has observed that a lot would be at stake, as the championship was used as a zonal qualifier for the 2021 CAF Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations to be hosted by Mauritania.

The Young Zebras started competing at the COSAFA in 1999, only to be eliminated during group stages at the majority of the tourneys.

However, the team registered impressive results in 2009 and 2011 when they finished third at both occasions.

The team missed to partake at the tournament in 2017.

Coach Paul said in an interview that he was impressed with the team's preparedness although it was not enough.

He added that as part of the preparations for the tournament, the team played three friendly games against Orapa United and Mogoditshane Fighters registering 1-nil and 2-nil wins respectively and 3-2 loss against Gaborone United.

He said the reason behind the friendly matches was not focused on winning the matches, but rather on the tactical aspects of the game, giving players game time and match fitness.

He said the friendly games gave the team an opportunity to work on their strengths and weaknesses.

"Our mission is to advance to the semi-finals of the tourney," he said.

He said 80 per cent of players played in the 2019 COSAFA tournament hosted by Zambia.

The team squad is as follows;

Goalkeepers: Cedric Ramojela (Molepolole City), Lesang Senne (Jwaneng Galaxy), Jovan Nikolic (Clube Desportivo).

Defenders: Larona Modisaemang (Matebejana FC), Tshepho Keselebale, (Maruapula Hungry Leopards), Tlamelo Kolagano (Suaflamengo), Tebogo Kopelang (Home Sweepers), Johnson Balaoleng (Orapa United), Anderson Makalontwana (Extension Gunners), Botsile Tiroyaone (Gilport Lions).

Midfiediers: Botlhe Keneilwe Pansiri (Greenlovers), Phemelo Pushudi (Orapa United), Phazha Chose (Club FC) Tawana Mbakile (Mogoditshane Senior), Alphius Taukobong (Kanye United), Godfrey Tauyatswala (BDF XI), Confidence Senwelo (Matebejana).

Strikers: Tefo Molefe (Matebejana FC), Doctor David (Jwaneng Galaxy), Thabo Tshotlo (Taung Young Strikers).

Source : BOPA

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